Sunday, January 22, 2012

Winter Finches of The Vermilon River. A Post to MWT and WBW.

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 Redpoll.

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.

Goldfinch

Goldfinch.

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

Goldfinch.

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 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 Grosbeak

Male Pine Grosbeak with Females.

 The Evening Grosbeak has just been downgraded to a finch from his own group. I'm certain they, like the Scarlet Tanger who was dropped from the Tanger group, could care less. I have the Evening Grosbeak all year. Their main food is sprucebud worms. If the Pine Grosbeaks are spectacular so are these fellows, only in yellow. The Male is on the right in the picture opposite. They just arrived today for a visit, and a bit of a photo shoot. Nice timing you guys.
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/

52 comments:

  1. What a brilliant birdpictures. The birds where you live have much more collor as our birds here in Holland.have a nice sunday
    Marijke

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  2. Nice bird and photo.
    Marit , Norway.

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  3. the grosbeaks are beautiful. i've only seen the rose-breasted pass thru here.

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  4. Lovely winter bird photos! We are inundated with juncos at the feeder and a few brave finches.

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  5. nice photos I like the yellow grosbeak the best

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  6. These pine grosbeak and evening grosbeak are really wonderful birds and you are lucky to be able to see them so often! Well done with the pictures, they are wonderful Gary!

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  7. You have to admire all those tough little beauties! Great photos of these birds.

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  8. They are all wonderful to see..

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  9. Looks like the finches like community! (your last pic) I commend you for braving the cold to take all these pics (it probably wasn't done in 5 min., lol!

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  10. What a wonderful selection of bird photos, such a wide variety more than what we see down here.

    Gill

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  11. So many cute little birds. Love the snow!

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  12. Winter wonders with snow and open water. With special guests with vibrant colours and personalities. Very nice!

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  13. What a fantastic collection of finch photos! Thanks, Gary.

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  14. Hi there - I have just returned from the wild, woolly and less that wonderful world of wireless only internet - so now I'm catching up.

    What a great mix of winter visitors – when I lived in the UK we used to get winter thrushes. With much less seasonal change here, the changes in birds are far less noticeable.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

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  15. What a beautiful series! We share the goldfinch and purple finch with you, but not the others. Love that colorful Evening Grossbeak.

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  16. You have quite a collection of hearty birds and no matter what you say, I still think that's cold.

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  17. this really is a stunning set of images.... these birds are to die for

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  18. Great shots of the different finches in your part of the world.

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  19. Wonderful pics!! thank you to you and Boomer for braving the elements so that we can see a little of your beautiful world.

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  20. So many beautiful birds! Love your captures as always and the very interesting information you share with us! It does look cold to me!! Hope you and Boom have a great week, Gary!

    Sylvia

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  21. Your bird photography is fabulous! I particularly like the male common redpole shot. As Marijke says in her comment about Holland, your birds have much more colour about them than the ones we see here - I'm in the UK.

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  22. I like those first two photos with the snow and ice moving over the river.

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  23. It's wonderful to see so many beautiful birds, Gary!

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  24. Beautiful colours on these little ones, so stark in contrast with the white of the snow! Love the textured patterns on the female redpoll's feathers!

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  25. Phenomenal photography as usual.

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  26. Don´t you have Dippers in that stream? We used to have a few around here but this winter is too warm so we had none so far. They stayed up north.

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  27. Gorgeous birds and photos. I especially love the Grosbeaks. Thanks for sharing!

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  28. very beautiful birds - great captured :)

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  29. Surprisingly, we don't see many grosbeaks. Plenty of others in the finch family but not these varieties. I love that you pointed out the beauty of the female purple finch. I think the females' striations are gorgeous. Our males are nowhere near as PURPLE as what I'm seeing here. Lovely series.

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  30. Gorgeous photos and birds!
    I'd love to see all those beautiful birds, I especially love the Male Purple Finch.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Have a great day.
    Mette

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  31. They are lovely, strong and beautiful! Your pictures are amazing. I didn't know the grosbeaks group has been changed. I'm sure they don't care. They were some of our favorites in Oregon.

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  32. Beautiful birds. I liked Grosbeak.

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  33. What a gorgeous bird pictures Gary!!
    The are so beautiful and I love the variations of the birds.
    Greetings from Holland,
    Anna :-))

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  34. I could not hope to read a better post Gary. But oh, the pictures. Spectacular to say the least.
    I wonder, have you seen "Nanook of the North," the 1922 silent documentary about the Inuit people up around James Bay not to many hundreds of klicks North of you? A favorite piece of cinema for me.
    My best to you, Boom, and the amazing finches of the Vermilon River valley! Dave

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  35. Those are beautiful little birds to keep you company in the winter. Great photos.

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  36. Some of those colourful little winter survivors are familiar to me some are not.
    Thank your for this beautiful post!
    We have here plenty of snow but this winter has been very mild, only -10C :)

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  37. Great post!!!
    Thank you for sharing photos and information!
    Regards,

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  38. They sure do show their beautiful color against all the snow!
    Terrific post Gary!

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  39. ...I adore each of these bird photographs and it makes me think how difficult it might be to photograph with the snow. It must produce a lot of glare in the camera to deal with, although it's not evident in your photos. Do you work with certain settings for these conditions? The white backgrounds certainly make the birds plumage colours even more striking I'd say; they're just beautiful. Thanks for sharing from your part of the world.

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  40. I'm impressed with the variety of bird there, and all so pretty!

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  41. Wonder if my finches know how good they have it here in no-snow California. Like those Grosbeaks.

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  42. I love those grosbeaks .. you have such a group of beauties!

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  43. Your grosbeaks and finches are quite marvellous. Love the purple finch that looks like it had inadvertently dived into a dye pot. Absolutely great post.

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  44. Gray, these birds are wonderful! The Redpolls catch my eye everytime I see them posted for WBW. I love the bright yellows of the Grosbeaks is beautiful. And those Purple Finches are lovely!
    Great series.

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  45. Wow, you had quite a variety of winter visitors. I love the curious look that purple finch is giving you

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  46. I admire your photography under harsh weather and thanks for sharing! They are beautiful in their own ways.
    Have a wonderful day,
    Yoshi

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  47. I love your grosbeaks, Gary. It's always a thrill to see them in the winter. They rarely make down further south.

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  48. I haven't had any redpolls, siskins or red breasted nuthatch down here ...you know that country down north...But I find the redpolls and siskins to be quite bold especially compared to our goldfinch...strange winter here in western NY...Michelle

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