My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus

Note: this post, while published, is a work in progress, as are all posts in this series, My Photo Life List. My goal is to photograph every species of bird that is seen on a regular basis here in Michigan, working from a list compiled by the Michigan chapter of the Audubon Society. This will be a lifelong project, that I began in January of 2013, and as I shoot better photos of this, or any other species, I will update the post for that species with better photos when I can. While this series is not intended to be a field guide per se, my minimum standard for the photos in this series is that one has to be able to make a positive identification of the species in my photos. The information posted here is from either my observations or the Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia, however, I have personally shot all the photos appearing in this series.

House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus

To start with, I love listening to these birds sing! Their song is a rapid, cheery warble, and it is a sure sign of spring arriving.

Originally only a resident of Mexico and the southwestern United States, they were introduced to eastern North America in the 1940s. The birds were sold illegally in New York City as “Hollywood Finches”, a marketing artifice. To avoid prosecution under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, vendors and owners released the birds. They have become naturalized; in largely deforested land across the Eastern U.S., they have displaced the native Purple Finch and even the non-native House Sparrow.

Male coloration varies in intensity with the seasons and is derived from the berries and fruits in its diet.

House Finches forage on the ground or in vegetation normally. They primarily eat grains, seeds and berries, being voracious consumers of weed seeds such as nettle and dandelion, included are incidental small insects such as aphids. They are frequent visitors to bird feeders throughout the year, particularly if stocked with sunflower or nyjer seed, and will congregate at hanging nyjer sock feeders. Dandelion seeds are among the preferred seeds fed to the young. Most birds, even ones with herbivorous leanings as adults, tend to feed their nestlings animal matter in order to give them the protein necessary to grow. House Finches are one of the few birds who feed their young only plant matter.

On to my photos:

Male house finch

Male house finch

Male house finch

Male house finch

Male house finch

Male house finch

Male house finch

Male house finch

Male house finch

Male house finch

Male house finch

Male house finch

Male house finch

Male house finch

Male house finch

Male house finch

Female house finch

Female house finch

Female house finch

Female house finch

Female house finch

Female house finch

 

 

This is number 42 in my photo life list, only 308 to go!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

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12 responses

  1. Nice documentation and pictures to go with! I too have very similar goal, to photograph all the birds that I can see in my surroundings! I liked the note: feature on the top. Do you add it manually or use any automated method?

    February 27, 2013 at 3:01 am

    • I created a post with everything that is common to all the posts, including the “notes” section, tags, and categories, as a template, then I copy it, fill in the rest, add my photos, and I’m done.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:37 am

  2. We get a lot of goldfinches out here. Do you have them in Michigan, too?

    February 27, 2013 at 3:17 am

    • Yes, they’re all over the place! They were the very first post in this series. And, thanks for the comment!

      February 27, 2013 at 3:20 am

      • Sorry, my bad memory is showing. 😳

        February 27, 2013 at 3:21 am

      • I’m not sure you were following my blog then, as I posted it in December

        February 27, 2013 at 3:33 am

  3. In densely populated Hoboken, NJ, in the early 70’s, I had a tenement apartment and enjoyed house finches coming to sunflower seed I put on the fire escape. They kept me sane, with those irrepressible bubbly songs. Great photos with the red berries!

    February 27, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    • Thanks, and I’ll thank the finches for keeping us all sane with their song!

      February 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm

  4. Keep up the good work.

    February 27, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    • Thank you, I plan to.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:02 am

  5. These are my balcony and rain gutter buddies! 🙂

    March 5, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    • Thanks, It’s probably why they are called house finches. 😉

      March 6, 2013 at 2:42 am