Finches, sparrows and … orioles?

Catching up …

Corey Flath of Rosemount, Minn., reports that two or three pairs of finches started showing up at their feeders on Saturday morning, although the females hide when he gets out the camera.
Corey says he thinks they might be purple finches. I’m more inclined to think house finches, although I confess I have a hard time telling one from the other. (They both sing beautifully.)
Take a look and decide for yourself:

It’s always a treat to see an adult bird feeding the young ones. Bernie St. George, at the summer place in Lake Beaureguard, Wis., caught one such moment involving two sparrows. I think we’re looking at chipping sparrows here:

No picture with this next item, because there’s no bird to take a picture of.
John Boland of Park Rapids, Minn., reports that he hasn’t seen more than one oriole since at least July 1, and his wife and neighbor confirm the absence of orioles.
“I know typically they seem to disappear while raising hatchlings, but they always come back bringing the fledglings to the feeders,” John writes. “We’re kinda mystified. Is there something different about this summer? What has been the experience in the Twin Ports area?”
I can’t be much help, because I so seldom see orioles anyway. Any oriole reports out there?

Finally, the people at the National Wildlife Refuge System sent out a list of some of the best wildlife refuges for birding, by region. Rather than try to stuff them all into one blog, I’m going to pass on their recommendations over the next several blogs, starting with two from the Northwest and Pacific regions:
* The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii is home to some of the largest populations of nesting seabirds in the Islands. Look for: Pacific golden plover (migratory), the Laysam albatross and the nene, the state bird of Hawaii.
Learn more here:

* The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Oregon is host to more than 320 bird species. Look for: American white pelicans, snow geese, tundra swans.
And learn more about it here:

More to come …

Your bird stories and pictures welcome at:

6 thoughts on “Finches, sparrows and … orioles?

  1. John, I think it is a House Finch, too – given the pic. Purple Finches are deeper in color. Last week we had 2 male/female couples eat at our birdfeeder. American Goldfinch and Purple Finch. They co-existed after a few “exchanges”. Could not get to my camera fast enough! Speaking of camera, here is a live link to Puffins in Maine (through the National Audubon Society):!/live-cams/player/puffin-loafing-ledge-cam

  2. The Chipping Sparrows are so cute. We had a brave one go into our duck’s home to get some feed. At the start it was for itself, but then it began bringing the young along. S/he’d run in and bring out a bill full of food out to the youngster.

    • They are not typically seen by me! But we are certainly in oriole range. I most often see them in the spring in early summer when I take a walk on the Western Waterfront Trail.

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