Bird Poems: Purple Finches Haikus
Genus is Haemorhous
It is easy to be inspired to write poetry about all the pretty birds of nature that surround me in the north woods. This particular Haiku was given life as I watched a group of female Purple Finches on a welcomed warmer day in January.
Enjoy my Haiku! I have included photos of female Purple Finches, and photos of male Purple Finches with information about these birds, and documented behaviors I have noticed while bird watching these feathered songbirds.
You can see my Purple Finch pictures below.
frozen early thaw
festive finches fruit delight
Unexpected Winter Bird
A Charm Of Female Purple Finches
A thump on a window caught my attention. I could tell by the sound that it was a bird hitting the glass. I went to investigate to see if the little birdie was okay. As I looked out the window, I was treated to the sight of a charm of female Purple Finches in the Hopa Crabapple tree. I searched the snow covered ground with my eyes and was relieved to see that there was no injured bird to be seen.
Then my full attention was drawn to the birds in the tree. I snapped a few photos through a window and was glad, because when I almost had the window completely open the charm of birds flew off and away. I did get a series of pictures of one female bird that at first was stretching to reach the fruit.
We just had several days and nights of bitter cold that reached well below zero, that these finches do not like. On this day, it was above freezing and the fruit of the tree were in a thaw. The little crab apples are more the size of a berry than an apple.
I noticed the birds were not grabbing the whole fruit in their mouths, even though their beaks are certainly large enough to do that. Instead, they were taking what appeared to be the lady like nibbles of the apples. As I bird watched, I realized the finches were after the seeds more than the fruit.
But, there were no males visiting the tree, apparently this was a ladies' day outing. I could not help but notice that the little crab apples are red. The thought passed through my mind that, just maybe, the ladies were trying to obtain some of that pretty raspberry red color of the males for themselves.
I have particularly enjoyed visits to the flock this winter. Interestingly, I did not see a single one in the yard all of last winter. That is consistent with this particular fowl as they have what can be considered to be a changing winter territory which may bring them to any particular area in its' winter range about every other year.
Purple looks pink
I see someone was color blind
makes no sense at all...
Pretty Colorful Male Bird
What Do Purple Finches Eat
I checked the bird feeders and saw that the male finches were more interested in the black oil sunflower seeds on this grand occasion.
Purple Finches are primarily seed-eaters though they do consume some fruit, as well as insects, caterpillars and even some tree buds. The young are fed mostly seeds.
They are birds that are opportunistic in their dining and, since their primary diet is seeds, they can be easily attracted to our yards with enticing bird seed feeders. A flock will come and go throughout the day to feed.
Male Purple Finches
The male Purple Finch does have a pretty red toned plumage that is often described as being rose or raspberry. The shades of color vary but are most pronounced just as mating season approaches.
The females apparently have an eye for just the right color tone as part of their mate selection.
This adorable little Purple Finch stopped by to warm himself in the morning sun on a very chilly morning.
The male Purple Finch, Carpodacus purpureus is looking very colorful for January. Perhaps it just that he is the perfect light to show off his beauty.
The female Purple Finch is brown toned. The male’s color brightens in the spring in time to show himself at his very best for courting a lady for mating.
Actually, it is fairly rare to see a Purple Finch this far north in January. Usually, they head at least a couple hundred miles or more toward the south to avoid the harsher winters.
The creatures of the wild do not always follow the migration patterns that we people have assigned them and sometimes arrive or stay as a nice surprise and this little fellow is certainly a welcome guest.
I am very pleased how this picture turned out, especially since it was taken through a window. It was just too cold to go outside with the camera. I especially love eye detail in the morning sun.
No Caged Birds Here
Female Purple Finches
Female Purple Finches are tones of brown and white, with some black. The undersides are white with soft brown streaking throughout.
The easiest ways to determine if you are seeing a female bird:
- Her distinctive white crescent over each eye, which is often referred to as an eyebrow.
- Another distinguishing characteristic is that her tail under feathers are solid white with no bars or added color.
It is not necessary to be able to identify every bird to enjoy them, but it is part of the fun to know who everyone is.
True Finches in the Family Fringillidae
The Purple Finch, Haemorhous puppureus, does not have a single purple feather on either the male or female. It is a head scratcher as to how this bird was given an off-color name.
A group or flock of Purple Finches is most often called a charm. I think that is just plain charming!
Other collective names for them are trimming and trembling.
They are considered to be true finches in the family Fringillidae.
These are delightful songbirds with many voices as they socialize through the day.
Have you seen Purple Finches in your area?
Northern Minnesota Winter Flocks
The Purple Finches may or may not follow the loosely mixed winter flocks of Black-capped Chickadees, Nuthatches and Downy Woodpeckers that travel through my neighborhood together. This is a get-along-gang of a gentle nature. I do not notice a pecking order during their visits and feeders are shared with other species without any noticeable aggression. I mention that because I do enjoy when everyone gets along without any apparent bullying.
Now, I do like seeing other birds, such as Bluejays and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks when they visit the yard, but let’s just say they do not play well with other birds and are competitive with other species as well as their own.
I have noticed that the Purple Finches are of a shy nature when it comes to humans and tend to keep their distance, retreating to the trees when I go near the feeders. I hope to gain their trust as I have the above-mentioned birds that will come within inches of me and are not disturbed by my presence. Rather, they will investigate if I have brought them some fresh treats.
Above all, I am hoping that a mating pair of finches or two will stick around the yard rather than border hopping to Canada for the mating season this year.
Habitat and Distribution
- Purple finch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Their breeding habitat is coniferous and mixed forest in Canada and the northeastern United States, as well as various wooded areas along the U.S. Pacific coast. They nest on a horizontal branch or in a fork of a tree."