Oh the HORROR...<<not>>...the horror of having to decide what the heck is coming to visit this winter...in the land of the plenty of offerings to attract the free-loaders. Oh the horror of it all...grumble grumble
So I am torn...is this Cassin's finch (Haemorhous cassinii) or Purple finch (Haemorhous purpureus)?
Cassin's finch (Haemorhous cassinii) is a bird in the finch family Fringillidae. This species and the other "American rosefinches" are placed in the genus Haemorhous by the American Ornithologists' Union but have usually been included in Carpodacus.
Adults have a short forked brown tail and brown wings. They have a longer bill than the purple finch. Adult males are raspberry red on the head, breast, back and rump; their back and undertail are streaked. Adult females have light brown upperparts and light underparts with brown streaks throughout; their facial markings are less distinct than those of the female purple finch.
Adults have a short forked brown tail and brown wings and are about 15 cm (5.9 in) in length and weigh 34 g (1.2 oz). Adult males are raspberry red on the head, breast, back and rump; their back is streaked. Adult females have light brown upperparts and white underparts with dark brown streaks throughout; they have a white line on the face above the eye.
Issue I am having the purple finch is too heavily coloured in purply reddish...and this one is more streaked. Only have photos of the male and not even sure he should even be here right now but with the stunned winter we have had (unseasonably sans snow and warmer...not good things at all!). finally last night, got decent snows (probably what we have had in the whole winter has FINALLY fallen last night and getting much better winter weather, probably a good four days of minus 30 C...about time, eh!
Now the SECOND query...got two males and a female coming in close...boy the males sing sweetly too!
Another one to confuse me...at first, am thinking WOW...got a cross bill but then again.
Now that I have BETTER PHOTOs since we tamed them (takes most species that show up here about two weeks to begin to ignore Rick and I...I would take it personally but hey, being ignored as NO threat is a good thing if'n yah wanna click the pics!).
See the beaky...the tip?
Pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator)
The pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) is a large member of the true finch family, Fringillidae. It is found in coniferous woods across Alaska, the western mountains of the United States, Canada, and in subarctic Fennoscandia and Siberia. The species is a frugivore, especially in winter, favoring small fruits, such as rowans (mountain-ashes in the New World). With fruit-crop abundance varying from year to year, pine grosbeak is one of many subarctic-resident bird species that exhibit irruptive behavior. In irruption years, individuals can move long distances in search of suitable food supplies, bringing them farther south and/or downslope than is typical of years with large fruit crops.
Two-barred Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)
The crossbills are characterised by the mandibles crossing at their tips, which gives the group its English name. They are specialist feeders on conifer cones, and the unusual bill shape is an adaptation to assist the extraction of the seeds from the cone. Two-barred crossbill has a strong preference for larch (Larix), in Eurasia using Siberian larch (Larix sibirica) and Dahurian larch (L. gmelinii), and in North America Tamarack larch (L. laricina). It will also take rowan Sorbus berries, and in North America, also eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and white spruce (Picea glauca) cones.
Adult males tend to be red or pinkish in colour, and females green or yellow, but there is much variation. Two-barred is easier to identify than other crossbills, especially in North America, where only red crossbill and this species occur, but some care is still needed.
Within its Eurasian range, this species is smaller-headed and smaller-billed than parrot crossbill and Scottish crossbill, so the main confusion species both there and in North America is common or red crossbill.
The main plumage distinction from common crossbills is the white wingbars which give this species its English and scientific names. There are also white tips to the tertials. The adult male is also a somewhat brighter (pinker) red than other male crossbills. Some common crossbills occasionally show weak white wingbars, so care is needed with the correct identification of this species. The chip call is weaker and higher than that of common crossbill.
A pair...a pair of ??
We have larch in the area, we have rowanberry (Mt. Ash) we planted by the fish pond/waterfall...and spruce of course! So moi was thinking from the clicks at a distances of the males...yeh, cross bill, but as said, give them two weeks to under appreciate our presence and the dang things begin to land on us...had one land on me the other day..."Hey, I'm alive here and I could most certainly snap you up and sell you on the black market as a bonafided "purdy birdy" in a widdle cage yah blighter...jest funning! Liken I wanna have MORE captive birds I gotta care for...NO tanks, eh!
Happily, when the male hit the snow covered but seeded board, he cleaned his bill off...
Close ups of the male... dirty bill in this one below
Close ups of the pair...
Cleaned up bills and I am leaning towards...
Pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator)
No matter what these birds are, we can concur I suspect, they are purdy!
Doggone & Chicken UP!
Tara Lee Higgins
Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm, Alberta, Canada