Friday, December 4, 2009

The Rosy-Finches are back!

Sitting at my computer writing, I received an e-mail from my friend Bobby-O, who mentioned he had a large flock of Black Rosie-Finches in his yard. In that it had been snowing to beat the band, I half expected to see the Pink-Butts, but somehow didn't expect them so early in the season. I believe I'd even seen a few at the regular feeding-spot right outside my back door, but not really thinking 'Pink-Butts' yet, they escaped my recognition.

Thanks to my friend's note, I immediately checked the feeders again...and found at a mixed flock 40-50 of
the Finches.Most seemed to be Gray-crowned and Brown-capped, but there were a few Black Rosies mixed in, as well.

I identified a new color-variant (for me), called a Hepburn's...which has a gray crown and black chin and forehead. Perhaps this is the 'interior' bird I hear folks mention. I just don't know enough about this bird...

They're back this morning in droves. I plan to do a bit more research and up-date this post over the weekend. I discovered yesterday, (late), that the pretty things are fairly tame and will let me stand outside near their feeding spots while they I'll try for better photographs this weekend. Check back!

Addendum: These are NOT color variants; they're different species!


Bosque Bill said...

That is very cool.

Beverly said...

Isn't it! I've never seen so many! There were even more this morning...closer to 60 or 70, I'd say. I can hardly wait for this weekend and hope I can get some good pictures. All the current ones are through a very old, double-paned window/door.

Anonymous said...

Very neat to see them in such large numbers this year. I wonder why.

Beverly said...


Aren't these some of the species that 'erupt'? I know Red-polls are...not sure about Rosies. That will be another thing to discover, when I research 'em.

Interesting info:


Carol said...

I don't ususally get flocks of birds unless the Robins are heading S. It must be nice to see so many.

Chas S. Clifton said...

I thought that rosy finches just migrated by altitude.

At 6,600 feet and a little north of you, we never see them, just house finches and Cassin's finches.

Beverly said...

Carol, truth be told I get rather few robins, except when there is fruit on the Virginia Creeper. I’ve planted several large shrubs this year, which will offer a few more (and different) berries; perhaps that will help.

One thing that works to draw birds…perhaps even better than feeders…is to plant native plants that offer food and shelter. Course, after checking out your beautiful blog, I see you have no shortage of wildlife! OMG, the photo of the cardinal and bunting nearly looks fake they are so colorful! (I know it is NOT.)

Are the pigs pests? I know in France and in California, feral pigs can cause quite a mess…not to mention being a serious nuisance.

Thanks for visiting!

Beverly said...


You’re right about altitude, and some don’t go far from breeding grounds. I’ve learned these birds prefer alpine conditions even during the winter-time, but when weather is bad they’ll come down as far as the foothills.

I’m at just over 7000’, perhaps 400’ makes enough difference that you’d seldom see them?

I did some research yesterday and plan a 4-part piece on these birds…one thing I learned is that they come and go like flocks of whirling dervishes! Some were here again yesterday…but I only saw them for about 15 minutes.

Hope all is well for you and yours, I enjoy reading about your exploits…as well as the things that catch your interest. I hope to get a piece on those wind-machines soon. Thanks for the link!