Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Purple Finch

On 21 April 2017 I banded this Purple Finch in our backyard. Male Purple Finches take two years to acquire their merlot-colored plumage. A brown individual, therefore, may be either a female or a first or second-year male.

Purple Finches undergo “quasicyclical” irruptions (Wootton 1996). I am not sure what quasicyclical means—not in my dictionary. I think it means that their movements, presumably dependent on conifer seed production in their breeding areas, are unpredictable. Wootton writes, “Although widespread and regularly seen, this bird is one of the least-studied finches in North America because it is neither common enough to be easily studied nor rare enough to be threatened with extinction."

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