If I were to say the word "finch", I think people would assume some fragile, little, gentle, bird, but certainly not the hardy Vermilon River Finches. As I've said before the weather has been cold, and snowy with high winds. Today ( Friday,20th.) is the first day of sun, and Boomer and I were just out. The temperature showing on my computer is -19C or about -4F. With the sun and snow glare, you could easily get a sunburn.
But the river remains frozen, and the temperatures fall at night. In the last few weeks' posts, I've told you how we, that is Boom and I, the birds, and the fur bearing animals stay warm.So you can't say" oooh so cold "anymore.
What we're going to see today are the finches that come here to overwinter and the finches that stay here all year long.
The finches that come here are the Redpolls, and the Pine Grosbeaks, and they're all from the Boreal forest, about a hundred miles north of me. They come probably attracted mostly by food, and secondly by our balmy climate. The map is courtesy of MNR, Canada, and shows the Boreal forest. The first sequence is all Common Redpolls. I haven't seen any Hoary Redpolls yet. Greenlander Redpolls are also migrating here, and have been seen in the Thunderbay area, so I'm watching for them also.
|Female Common Redpoll|
|Male Common Redpoll|
|Female Common Redpoll|
This photo leads right to the next finch, the Vermilon River Goldfinch, sometimes know as the American Goldfinch. He stays here all year long, although the less hardy probably migrate to warmer climates in the south; you know that country south of here. Just can't remember the name right now. They, the ones that stay, get along with the Redpolls quite well. And in fact in the forest dine on the same seed pods.
This a female Purple Finch, who although not as spectacular as her mate is a beauty in her own right. I haven't seen as many this year, but I was on the west side of the River looking for some the other day to no avail.
|Male Purple Finch.|
|Female Purple Finch.|
|Male Pine Grosbeak|
The Pine Grosbeak is ,like the Redpoll, a Boreal Forest bird who overwinters here. Again like the Redpoll, the Pine Grosbeak is a finch. While the Redpolls are smaller than a Goldfinch, the Pine Grosbeak is the size of a Blue Jay.
|Female Pine Grosbeak.|
|Male Pine Grosbeak with Females.|
|Female Evening Grosbeak|
I usually have difficulty getting a male and female together, but certainly not this time. They're the same size as the Pine Grosbeak.
|Male Evening Grossbeak|
Another view of the male. You've got to admit it's a pretty good showing from the finch group, which certainly brightens the grey skies of winter. I added from another shoot the photo below of the male Pine Grosbeak, and the Male and Female Evening Grosbeak, just to empasize their exceptional colours. Click a photo to watch the slide show. A Post to MWT @ http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.com/ and WBW @ http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/