Front yard tree, residence located along the Clearwater River.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
Observed for at least 30 minutes, possibly longer, with binoculars and a DSLR camera. The bird was in a deciduous, ornamental plum tree, located about 15' from the window where I was standing. This was during an unusually heavy snowfall year (44" for the season, our normal is 6"-12"). It was among other feeder birds and perched alongside two House Finches.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
Yes, during the observation
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, later the same day
Yes, another day after the observation
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America.
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
Finch family, based on it's size, shape, and similarity to other finches I know well.
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
He was perched, fluffed up, and eating snow from the branch he was sitting on. He was among other feeder birds, including several House Finches.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
I had taken photos, believing it was either a Cassin's Finch or Purple Finch, but knew Purple Finches were not typically seen here. I used to live in California, where we did have Purple Finches. I wasn't able to determine for certain, and later forgot about it. I recently began editing my many birding photos and came across these again. I am now a member of a Facebook birding group and know several very experienced birders through this site. I posted the two photos, asking for opinions, and two people felt it was a Purple Finch. One suggested I submit the sighting here.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
I eliminated it as a House Finch due to the lack of a brown cap and the presence of a "mohawk" type appearance on his head. It was much more red than a House Finch.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
I'm slightly familiar due to my previous sightings, as a VERY novice birder, while living in California.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
I have been actively birding since late 2009, or early 2010. I feel I'm still a novice, but I suppose in comparison to non-birders I'm an intermediate birder. I do the majority of my birding at home, as we have a diverse habitat here. I have done two Christmas Bird Counts and typically take my camera and binoculars whenever I travel. I seek out birding spots when I travel the US, and also in Costa Rica. I've been trying lately to do more checklists, especially when I see something unusual.
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
FIRST ROUND VOTING:
Photos appear to be of a male Purple Finch.
Photos support the identification as a Purple Finch
Yep, this was an adult male Purple Finch.
While obviously a light report with little comparison to similar species, the photos are good and indicate correct identification. Photos also indicate an obvious male "Pacific" Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus californicus).