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Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday's Foto

Roger Tory Peterson described the Purple Finch as looking like a "sparrow dipped in raspberry juice". Not all birds have this rich color, though, the individual in this photo could be either a female or an immature male. In the east they have erratic fall migrations but this year they seem to be fairly abundant around NYC. Listen for their low, short "pik, pik, pik" call as they feed in sweetgums, ash or tulip trees. Declines in eastern population are attributed to the more aggressive House Finch. You can see a comparison of the two finches here. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources lists their conservation status as "Least Concern", although populations have been decreasing. The scientific name, Carpodacus purpureus, means: Carpodacus Gr. karpos fruit; dakos biter / purpureus L. purpureus purple-coloured (purpur purple).

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