Sunday, December 09, 2007

Focusing on the Small Parts

Three females and one male House Finch, Carpodacus mexicanus, at the cylinder feeder. Note the differences amongst the individuals.

Temperature 14F
New snow- 3 inches

Another view of the same birds, plus an added male. What are the individual differences from this view?

The whole flock arrives and some birds have come on and others off. In fact one male is actually in flight and not on a perch at all. Some males are more raspberry than others but they are all still House Finch.

Which bird is ill?

Can you identify the species from this view? A slight clue is the rusty cap with gray on the neck.

How about now? Note the maxilla and mandible are different colors. The top of the beak is black and the bottom yellow. See the white streak coming down from the beak. One of the main ID marks people use doesn't appear in either photograph. Can you identify it anyway?
Add a single spot mid-breast.
American Tree Sparrow, Spizella arborea

2:09PM It's a gray cold day and Doorstep Dove does her musing from the bath well over an hour earlier than usual.

A grand view of a House Finch tongue. It's quite pointed to match the shape of the beak.

And a view of a Dark-eyed Junco's bottom, just in case that's the only part you see some day.
Look carefully at the very tips of the tail feathers. You can just see the tips of the white feathers that make the distinctive Junco tail flash when they fly.

3:32PM The late in the day musing from the bath is being taken care of by the little Junco today.
Donegal Browne

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