Friday, January 30, 2009

Strawberry Juice vs. Raspberry Juice

House Finch -- Jan. 29, 2009
photo by Murray Head

Purple Finch - October 16, 2007
Photo by Lloyd Spitalnik

How can you distinguish the House Finch, a very common bird at urban and suburban feeders, from the Purple Finch, its much less common relative? The birds look alike, in spite of some slight differences in size, tail length and face pattern. But many birders offer a guideline based on color:

The House Finch looks like a sparrow dipped in strawberry juice while
the Purple Finch looks like a sparrow dipped in raspberry juice.

Wouldn't you say this works for the two photos above?

PS Both photos were taken in Central Park.