Purple Finch at Walnut Canyon Ponds
9 Jan 2018, 2:27 PM,
#1
Purple Finch at Walnut Canyon Ponds
I found a likely Purple Finch at the south waterfall today, drinking with a group of Cassin's Finch.

The bird was noticably darker and chunky with a brownish streaked back, dingy white breast and belly,  with dark, thick streaking extending to a white undertail.  The head was peaked with a thick neck, dull white surrounding a dark auricular.  The  bill was conical.  It stuck out like a sore thumb. Unfortunately, because the wind had dust flying everywhere, I left my camera in my car.

I was able to watch the bird from 20 feet for about a minute, and I'm highly confident this was a purple finch, having seen many in my life and having so many examples of House and Cassin's Finch around for comparison.

I only wish I had my camera with me and hopefully it will be seen again.
Tom
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9 Jan 2018, 3:20 PM,
#2
RE: Purple Finch at Walnut Canyon Ponds
Somebody get a picture!
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9 Jan 2018, 5:32 PM,
#3
RE: Purple Finch at Walnut Canyon Ponds
I stopped by the ponds after work. A female Cassin's Finch was right at the waterfall when I arrived, and all the other finches I saw were House Finch. A Cedar Waxwing stopped in as well. A "Richardson's" Cackling Goose continues across from FAC near the golf course pond.

   

Jason
Flagstaff, AZ
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Yesterday, 10:10 AM,
#4
RE: Purple Finch at Walnut Canyon Ponds
Jason Wilder started a lively email conversation with a few of us regarding Carpodacus finches, along with a photo quiz.

As a result, I'm removing my PUFI report and paying more attention to detail with this difficult group.

Thanks for the fun Jason!
Tom
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Yesterday, 12:30 PM,
#5
RE: Purple Finch at Walnut Canyon Ponds
As Tom mentioned, going through photos online made me fairly certain that I need to do some work on my Carpodacus finches - especially the females! As a result, I deleted from eBird a sight record of mine from 2011 of a silent female-type bird that I identified at the time as Purple Finch. That ID definitely might be correct, but I'd like to be more sure.

Jason
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