Welcome Back, Purple Finch

Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus), Lights Upon Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) 

The Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus, pictured above), with its raspberry-stained plumage and sweet, warbling song, is an occasional guest at my bird feeders during the winter months. With color scarce at this time of year, I am grateful for the brilliant-colored beauty and musical backdrop provided by this lovely, native bird.

The plummy-red hued, male Purple Finches are easy to spot at feeders and if you are hoping to attract them, it’s helpful to know that they are especially fond of black oil sunflower seeds! The female Purple Finch is mostly brown and white, with a streaky underbelly and white brow. In winter, small flocks also visit my flower beds, feasting upon seeds from perennial plants and ornamental grasses. In the landscape beyond, I sometimes spot them in the lower meadow, where they hunker down to feed within weedy wildflower remnants (learn more about this beautiful species at Cornell Lab of Ornithology, here).

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