This bird was foraging in my backyard this past weekend. I wasn’t sure what it was, but it seemed to be eating dandelion seeds. What was it?
It flew away into the woods in the background, and then almost immediately this more colorful version flew in. It is a House Finch which is a very common bird. The first one was the female and the reddish one was the male. House Finches do like to eat weed seeds on the ground, so I guess my backyard is halfway decent habitat for them! I usually spend a little more effort removing dandelions from my lawn (by hand only), but this year I’ve decided to stop trying to control them. On the down side, I’m going to have a lot more dandelions growing. But the positives are that my yard will attract more birds and insects and other wildlife.
House Finches are very similar in appearance to Purple Finches. How do I know this is a House Finch? See the brown vertical streaks on the bird’s lower breast? According to Birds of the Willamette Valley Region by Nehls, Aversa, and Opperman, Purple Finches don’t have them.