There are laws about this kind of congregatin’

The snow is back. Not much of it, but it was mixed with freezing rain and now everything is covered with a thin glaze of extraordinarily slippery ice, so I guess Nature is enforcing the stay-at-home order.

These scofflaw birds don’t care at all, though. My yard was covered with sparrows for a while, and the birdfeeder in my front yard has become the most popular meeting spot in the area. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE. STAY INDOORS. Stupid birds.


  1. kingoftown says

    They look like linnets but I don’t think you have those in america. What are they?

  2. leerudolph says

    Perhaps the purple finch? Peterson describes it, memorably, as looking “like a sparrow dipped in raspberry juice”, which is what the ones in PZ’s photo look like to me.

  3. azpaul3 says

    Stupid birds.

    Good birds. Wonderful birds.
    Not only do they eat all your birdseed, they eat spiders.

  4. stroppy says

    I’m thinking maybe house finches too, though purple finches might be more common in that area.

    House finches have the eye stripe and females have a plainer face. Hard to tell from this angle, but smaller tail notch?

    (I’m not a birder)

  5. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What snow? Tulips are beginning to emerge. I hear birds in the morning trying to wake me up. Not too many at the feeder in my neighbors yard across the driveway. Still, a good sign.

  6. robro says

    I’m guessing house finches because, per the National Audubon Society, purple finches are rare for the central US region, whereas house finches are ubiquitous.

    I sat under our flowering Ohio Buckeye this afternoon. It’s a foreign species but buzzing with bees and hummingbirds. The hummingbirds are mainly Anna’s but there are several varieties around here.

  7. stroppy says

    If I can make a plug, a number of years ago I switched to The American Bird Conservancy’s Field Guide; All the Birds of North America (first edition) and haven’t looked back since.

    I found it easy to search, makes good distinctions, and the illustrations seem to represent birds well enough to get you past the individual variations you find in the field.