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Small bird with red head and chest in central NJ


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#1 StrictlyTopSecret

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 08:00 AM

Hello!

 

I was so excited to find this forum!

I just received a bird feeder for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. We hung it on our small deck, and low and behold, we have a wide variety of visitors!

Now, we'd really like to be able to identify them. Here is a pic of one with a red head and chest. It is mostly brown. We think it might be some sort of finch, but really haven't the slightest clue. I am completely new to this whole thing, but am eager to learn.

What sort of bird might this be?

 

Thank you in advance for your expert assistance!

 Appreciatively,

~STS~
 


 



#2 snowyowl

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 08:13 AM

That's a male house finch.  You can expect them to be regulars at your feeder.  They are also attractive and sing merrily much of the time.


#3 Matt P

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 08:14 AM

Looks like a male house finch. I joined the forum last week. These people are experts in the bird ID world. You will be surprised how good they are.



#4 StrictlyTopSecret

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 08:17 AM

Thanks so much for your speedy, thorough reply!


#5 snowyowl

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 08:20 AM

Addendum:  Other birds you can regularly expect at your feeder this time of year would include house sparrow, white-breasted nuthatch, tufted titmouse, black-capped chickadee, northern cardinal, downy (and possibly also hairy) woodpecker.  Also keep an eye out for red-breasted nuthatch and American tree sparrow, and if you are really lucky, perhaps even some boreal finches such as common redpoll and evening grosbeak which are having an irruptive year.


#6 tim.birdboy

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 08:23 AM

EDIT: I see that while writing my (somewhat) lengthy reply, others have beaten me to it!  Oh well. Smile 

Welcome to WhatBird! 

You are right that your bird is a finch, the raspberry-ish coloration making it a male Carpodacus finch (either Purple, Cassin's, or House).   Purple Finch can easily be eliminated by the small amount of red, which is confined to the face and the breast (versus the extensive, all-over reddish coloration of the Purple Finch).  Cassin's is ruled out by the heavy gray streaks on the flanks, which are almost entirely lacking in a male Cassin's Finch.  Also, Cassin's is completely out of range (in fact, not one has been seen in New Jersey, ever!).  That leaves us with House Finch.  The small amount of red, heavy streaking on the flank, curved culmen, as well as range, all fit perfectly for male House Finch.

 






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