A Brush of Color

Continuing the bonus posts this month, thought I’d bring you a few shots that will help you think about Spring … as if you were not already in the mood after Mother Nature put up a whopping 77 degree day this week already (yeah).  Nothing represents a change in seasons .. oh sorry, guess I should use climate change instead .. than seeing the dull Winter feathers give way to beautiful color.
House Finch

The Purple Finch vs House Finch has always been a tough identification.  My go to characteristic is the streaking on the belly.  The House has very defined streaks where the Purple for the most part lacks the same definition.  The purple also has a more pinkish hue in my opinion.  Based on that, my choice for the shot above is the House.  Opinions to the contrary are always welcome.

Next up on the color spectrum is yellow.  Specifically, the American Goldfinch all decked out in its banana costume.  This image makes me chuckle every time I see it.  Chillin’ on a branch, shades on, hat pulled low – Raptors have nothing on this dude in the cool factor category.

American Goldfinch

If there is one bird that can rival the brilliance of the Goldfinch, it has to be the Indigo Bunting.  I swear that blue can be seen in the dead of night.  Over the last couple of years, these Buntings have been increasing their presence at my feeders and usually spot one or two on each of my runs in the Jubilee Park.

Indigo Bunting

Hit the jump to see a couple more crayons in the box.

Even if you don’t see their coloring glowing in the prairie grass, you can usually hear their high pitch tweeting.  Once again, the male gets all the show and the females are left with the boring browns.  Much like the Northern Cardinal, although the female does retain some red highlights.


The current fast count at the feeders put my backyard Cardinal count in the high 30’s.  It is a good thing they are so pleasing to look out because they put a huge dent in my bird food budget – the feeders have to be loaded up every three days or so.  The strange thing is how submissive they are to that damn Blue Jay.  You should know by now I hate that bird entirely due to it being a complete asshole to the other birds enjoying the feeders.  I’ve repeatedly watched them swoop in, take that big bill, strike at a feeding Cardinal and then take over its position without an ounce of remorse.  Meanwhile about 20 fellow Cardinals will just sit there in the trees watching the bullying and look the other way.  All they need to do is swarm the offending Jay and let it be known you don’t mess with our state bird.  Oh well, guess a financially failed state should have a wussy state bird.


For your last color splash of the day, I bring you the Red-Headed Woodpecker.  With the exception of the juvenile, both sexes get to wear the “purdy” coloring on this Woodpecker.  Unlike the Red-Bellied variety, the Red-Headed is still pretty scarce in our woods.  Whenever one shows up it is always a treat.  Sure, they put on the front like they live off the tree, drilling for bugs and other insects but as soon as they think no one is looking they head straight for my sunflower seeds.

Red-Headed Woodpecker

That’s all I have for you today.  Just wanted to get this post off the queue and maybe even update some of my North American Bird Life List images (I really like some of these shots and for some reason I only had a female or possibly a Winter plummaged male in my gallery – that will get updated as soon as possible)

Think Spring everyone – it’s just around the corner


2 comments on “A Brush of Color

  1. Ron

    Wow, color splashes, all right! Holy cow–how do you get such colors in your photos? They are particularly bright compared to the dull winter branches.

    Anyway, thanks for the bird photos!


  2. admin

    I do what I can – I have a little more control with these birds that hang around the house – a lot more time to experiment and try things out – the other secret is most of these (with the exception of the Cardinal) are taken immediately after rain storms. the light is usually perfect to pop the colors but mute the background. Admittedly, I really liked this set of shots and eager to see how they translated to print version. Eeesh – gotta be careful or I’ll be letting out all my secrets hehehe

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