House or Purple Finch? *Update

*Update – Its unanimous, Purple Finch! A first sighting for me and my 92nd bird species photographed in Dutchess County!  Thank you for all the emails & comments!

I’ve been continuing to edit my photos from Friday’s hike through the flats at Cary Institute and I just got to my House Finch photo.  Above closer examination of the shot, I am beginning to believe it is a Purple Finch instead.  Because I have never seen a Purple before, I figured I would ask the masses for their opinion.

I have my reasoning to believe it is a Purple Finch too.  The tail has a notch in it, whereas the House Finch’s tail is squared off.  The tail also looks a tad short, which is also a characteristic of a Purple Finch.  He also is lacking the brown streaky flanks of the House Finch.  The only thing that seems off is that my field guide shows much more red on the head and back.  Could it be a juvenile?  Any and all thoughts would be appreciated!

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3 Responses to House or Purple Finch? *Update

  1. hoaryredpoll says:

    Its a purple finch, likely a 1st year male. You can just see the raspberry coloring coming in on the back and along the flanks. In House finches the color is limited to the face, and breast, their undersides and back are generally brown.

  2. Frank says:

    I would strongly lean toward Purple, based mainly on the color, as Roger Tory Peterson used to say – it looks like it was dipped in raspberry juice. It would help to have other photos and better yet, if you heard it singing.

  3. Derrick says:

    It was a very brief and limited look, I am just happy to have gotten the photo before he took off. Thank you for your comments! I learn a little bit more everyday. 🙂

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