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House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)

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Birds Are Evolving Rapidly - Today

House Finches are evolving rapidly and visibly. In 1941, some captive House Finches from California escaped near NYC. They spread rapidly and are now found across most of the US. We know the finches have evolved, because those that survive differ from their parents. Size is one example. Male... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ornithology

House Finches - Red and Yellow

House Finches eat many kinds of seeds and fruits. A careful look at male House Finches at a feeder shows that, while most males show red feathering, some are decidedly more orange - and some even yellow. House Finches acquire their coloration from pigments known as carotenoids in the foods they... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

You Are What You Eat

House Finches are familiar birds all across North America. Researchers have shown that the red coloration of males is produced from carotenoid pigments in the birds' diet. Male House Finches develop brighter plumage when they are growing in new feathers, if they eat more fruits containing... read more »

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Early Spring Songs (Washington State)

In March, we welcome the lengthening days and the renewal of bird song. Among the earliest spring singers in the Northwest is this House Finch, whose sweet, jumbled song carries along city blocks and rocky canyons. And spring songs are breaking out all over the country. Listen to the song of the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, vocalization

Spring Brings New Bird Songs

All winter long, our neighborhood House Finches--like this one--have called to one another with their distinctive, sweet cheeps. And our resident Song Sparrows, with calls that sound like a tiny barking dog. But as the days grow longer in late winter, the lengthening light helps trigger a bird's... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, vocalization

Parking Lot Birds

You can find birds nearly everywhere. Even parking lots. Next time you're at a mall, grab a coffee, take a seat outside, and look around you. How many different species of birds can you see? Crows and gulls command the rooftops. Rock Pigeons abound. A European Starling-like this one-picks up the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Singing Like a Bird and Feeling Good

Every now and then, don’t you just want to belt it out? Imagine singing like a Black-headed Grosbeak! Or what about a Carolina Wren? Picture warbling like a House Finch. All this just too rambunctious for you? The call of the American Bittern more your style? Or this Yellow-headed Blackbird?... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  humor, sound

Hayden Goold Observes the Birds

My name is Hayden Goold. I am a fourth-grader at School in the Woods in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I am sitting at a picnic table looking at birds with binoculars. I see a blue and black bird with a mohawk. It’s a Steller’s Jay! I try to come closer, but he flies higher into the tree, scaring... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  listener story, reflection

Light and Song - Sparks in Winter

Even in winter, some birds — including Black-capped Chickadees, House Finches, and American Robins — greet the sunrise with song. We normally hear the dawn chorus in springtime, when birds sing to define territory and attract mates. But birds don’t breed by warmth alone. Day length is a far more... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display
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