Gray is the color of…

the landscape recently.  Gray is not my favorite color.  I need something bright in my view, and a little sunshine here wouldn’t hurt.  Flat light may be great for taking photos that lack offending shadows, but it really dulls the color of what I know to be brightly plumaged birds.  So, here’s the best I could do with the colorful House Finches that stopped by the feeder the other day.

house finch male


house finches

A small flock of House Finches munched up the sunflower seeds, and then quickly disappeared. There seems to be quite a bit of variation in the red color of the male House Finches.

Like Cardinals, male House Finches depend on the carotenoid pigments in their food during their fall molt to brighten up the striking red color in their head and breast feathers.  Female House Finches usually prefer the reddest males, so like Cardinals, the fittest males are the ones that can find the best food and are thus the most colorful.  If you see orangey tinted House Finches at your feeder, that bird might be a non-breeder next spring.

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