Wednesday, April 19, 2006

look!! it's a Carpodacus mexicanus, eh...


lil red bird #1

lil red bird #2

i'm not much of a birdwatcher. strictly a duck/pelican guy. you know, big birds. not little chirpy birds. ok, i know what a robin looks like. on a good day, i can spot a house sparrow or even a chickadee.

most of the time the lil chirpy birds turn out to be LBJ's (the common birdwatching term for Little Brown Jobs - birds that are indistinguishable, non-descript).

now and then i see something special like a waxwing or like yesterday i spotted a red coloured bird. holy crap! how many times do you see a red coloured bird in calgary?! (see above pix).

i blew up the pix and i think i have a positive ID. the lil red bird was most likely a house finch. not a very exotic name, eh. (i like Carpodacus mexicanus better)

this bird bears a close resemblance to the purple finch. (i don't understand the convention for naming birds. purple finches are red!). however, i believe the brownish streaks on its flanks are tell tale signs that it's a house finch.

you be the judge.


source: the sibley guide to birds...

5 comments:

Dillan said...

Great shots, Al! To be honest, most of them look like LBJs to me. It's got to be a cardinal before I know it's red.

dean said...

Birds are a nice reminder that spring has arrived. On this gorgeous day as I walked to the bus stop around noon, all I could hear was this one bird singing a beautiful tune. Ahhh... what a wonderful serenade!

bubba said...

dillan, in my experience the LBJ's outnumber the identifiable birds by 20 to 1. i'm not sure whether you saw a cardinal around here. i had a look at its (the northern cardinal) range map and it looks like it lives east of the mississippi and in the extreme southwest of the USA. then again, the maps were made around 2000. global warming could shift it's range northward. you never know.

dean, birds are indeed beautiful. they are little miracles on wings. i love them. after a silent winter, it's good to hear them again. did you see the singing birds? robins have terrific, melodic songs...

Dillan said...

Yeah, I did see one. He was sitting on the window ledge outside my kitchen window way back when I lived west of Airdrie. It must have been 10 years ago. I've never seen one since. I was shocked because I'd never seen one before. I didn't expect to either. I certainly not a bird guy, but a cardinal I know, especially when he's inches away outside the window. I'm sure he was pretty confused.

bubba said...

dillan,

it was all red? bright red?

i took another look at the book. there are rare sightings in the calgary area. perhaps 1 sighting per year.

wow, congrats. next time take a pic, eh.