Saturday, April 5, 2014

Yellow House Finch

yellow House Finch
Yellow House Finch. Imperial Beach, California. March 2, 2014. Greg Gillson.
Most male House Finches are red. Thus, when I saw this yellow bird fly into the bushes at Tijuana Slough NWR nature center, I thought is was going to be something exciting and rare.

Alas, "only" a House Finch, a common feeder bird throughout much of North America--especially the West. I've seen rather orange House Finches before, but this is the yellowest.

House Finch
Typically-colored House Finch. Bend, Oregon. June 13, 2008. Greg Gillson.
My first field guide was Peterson's Western (1969). It included Hawaiian birds--perhaps the only field guide to North America to do so? He illustrated the introduced House Finches there as orange, saying they ran the gamut from red to yellow.

Orange House Finch
Orange variant House Finch. Forest Grove, Oregon, May 16, 2004. Greg Gillson.
Alas, as in most birds, the female is not adorned with bright breeding colors.

House Finch
Typically colored male and female House Finch. Beaverton, Oregon. June 8, 2010. Greg Gillson.