Songbirds in the Garden : Some House Finches Come to Visit

male-house-finch-toronto-spring-2015

Look who might be nesting somewhere near to our place this spring — these are House Finches!

I’ve seen them once or twice in previous years, but they’re not all that common around here. Then, these past few days, I’ve seen this pair at least once a day. They chirp a very distinct song, so I hear them before I see them. Then I scan the trees until I finally find the flash of red. They’re tiny, only about 4 inches long, so they’re not that easy to see among the branches.

The red one is the male.

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They seem to enjoy the Forsythia flower buds,

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The female is a rather plain looking brown, but she’s cute nonetheless.

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The story about how House Finches came to be here in Toronto is an interesting one. Beginning in the 1940s, they were brought to New York City from their native home in Mexico and southern United States, and were being sold as pets in cages. They were nicknamed ‘Hollywood Birds’, I guess because that sounded glamorous. But keeping them in cages and selling them was against the ‘migratory bird treaty act’, so their captors released them in order to avoid facing fines. So, left to fly free, they adapted to the environment and began to expand their area. They made it to Toronto by the late 80s.

I hope these two stick around all summer, and that I’ll get to see their babies. Of course, I’ll show you if I do.

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Thanks for taking a look. I hope you have a great weekend.
xo loulou

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