House Finch, Singing On Ocotillo

You may enlarge any image in this blog by clicking on it.  Click again for a detailed view.

Here’s yet another in my series of images depicting local desert species perching on blooming Ocotillos.  

No species is more often seen in our community than is the House Finch.  House Finches are among the most successful species in the continental United States.  They can be found in every state and in much of southern Canada.  These little birds are among those species that profit from human activity. In the Tucson area, they show up in every subdivision, in public parks, and on golf courses — anywhere where there is a bit of water and a few trees.  These birds are so common that I only rarely consider photographing them.  Like many, I suppose, I have an “if you’ve seen thousands of House Finches you’ve seen them all” mentality.

That said, I paused during one of my walks to photograph this bird.

The little finch caught my attention because it was singing loudly as it perched on a blooming Ocotillo.  As I focused on it I noticed the near-exact match between the House Finch’s splashes of red plumage and the red Ocotillo blossoms.

The bird in this image is a male House Finch.  Males have patches of red plumage that vary in size and intensity from individual to individual.  Females’ plumage is a drab brown.  

As ordinary as these House Finches may seem to be, they are absolutely beautiful singers.  I’ve occasionally stopped to listen to a House Finch’s song when I’m taking one of my early morning walks.  Mundane as these birds are, they brighten every neighborhood with their music.

Image made with a Canon 5Div, 400mm f4 DO II lens+1.4x telextender, M setting (auto ISO), ISO 400, f5.6 @ 1/2500.

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