I was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes and looked out at an amazing sight. There were literally dozens of chirpy birds invading my garden, SO MANY I couldn’t even count them all.
They’re easy to identify as House Finches.
According to AllAboutBirds.org, If House Finches discover your feeders, they might bring flocks of fifty or more birds with them. They did!
I no longer have feeders because of my arch nemeses, RATS, so what they’re feasting on here is actually an invasive species, a Brazilian Pepper tree that somehow sprouted into the neighbor’s yard and they didn’t get rid of it like we did.
The House Finch is a recent introduction from western into eastern North America (and Hawaii). Males boast cheerful red breasts and their distinctive long, twittering song.
The House Finch was originally a bird of the western United States and Mexico. In 1940 a small number of finches were turned loose on Long Island, New York, after failed attempts to sell them as cage birds (“Hollywood finches”). They quickly started breeding and spread across almost all of the eastern United States and southern Canada within the next fifty years.
There’s no way I could capture as many as there are, but I’d say definitely more than fifty of these lovely red breasted birds are visiting Casa de Enchanted Seashells.
The red of a male House Finch comes from pigments contained in its food during molt (birds can’t make bright red or yellow colors directly). So the more pigment in the food, the redder the male.
This makes sense because they’re eating red berries from the pepper tree.
They stayed for about an hour, saturating my world with their most delightful song and chirpy calls to friends and family. Every tree in the garden is full of these guys as well the rosemary and lavender bushes.
I’ve never seen anything like this. For me, It’s as exciting as spotting a pod of whales or dolphin. I’m grateful they chose my garden to visit. Pure joy!