house finch

by underswansea


Warm weather rolled in today. It rose over freezing and melted the snow in the valley bottom. There are still plenty of berries on the Mountain Ash trees, unusual because we’ve had plenty of flocks of Waxwings overhead. For whatever reason they have let them stand. Perhaps they’re saving them for the next cold spell.

We’ve had small groups of birds, Siskin’s and Finches and a few woodpeckers in the ornamentals. The pictures in this post, I believe, are of House Finches. My guidebook says they are common through North America but rare in the Canadian Rockies. However, many bird’s ranges are expanding.


The guidebook also said these birds are originally from the Southwestern United States. In the 1920’s and 30’s they were popular cage birds and sold as “Hollywood Finches’. Illegal releases of the birds resulted in them finding habitat in the Rocky Mountains.

It is amazing to think of their ability to adapt to an environment much different from their place of origin, and in such a short time.

Nature treats us with the same regard as these small birds. No more or less. That’s more than fair. More than we deserve considering. They warble and tweet in a language I can’t understand, then rise like small prayers into the open blue. They don’t trust me. They have learned the hard way.

But sometimes they let me get close enough to see their open mouths, the soft feathers on their breasts. It’s enough to pick me up in spite of it all and make me believe.