Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Backyard Birding on a Rainy Spring Morning

This male House Finch seems to be saying, "I see you in there looking at me through the rain drops."

It's a beautiful rainy morning in the Boise foothills.  It's even snowing occasionally.  Inclement weather seems to drive the birds into my backyard where it is easy to feed.  This morning in my yard I have California Quail, Mourning Doves, Red-winged Blackbirds, Northern Flicker, Western Meadowlarks, White-crowned Sparrows, Dark-eyed Junco, American Goldfinch, and House Finch.

The birds seem to be really enjoying Bird House & Habitat's Treasure Valley Blend of seed.  I enjoy it as much as the birds do because 100% of it is edible and desirable for the birds.  Therefore, it leaves no mess and no sprouts!

It is so fun to watch the American Goldfinch molt process.  It seems like they went through a molt earlier this winter and now a spring molt.  I can see those black caps and lemon-yellowness trying to overtake the drab brown.

With the birds feeding right outside and below my bedroom window, I thought I'd take advantage of the opportunity to get pictures of Yellow-face and Black-face, the two House Finch mutants that have frequented my feeders for the last few weeks.  Yellow-face was not very cooperative, but I did manage to get some photos of Black-face.  Well, it is has a black cap and and blackness on one side of the face.  The tail is also darker than the other House Finches and lacks the light colored edging.  I suppose it is some form of melanism, rather than a hybrid.  I apologize for the photo quality.  It was with an inexpensive Canon Powershot camera, through a window, in the rain.  (Click to enlarge)

This photo shows the black side of the face in profile.

This photo captures the darker cap.

This photo is a tail comparison.  Black-face is on the upper left.

Finally, here is Black-face on top of the feeder showings its normal side.

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