We decided on Thursday to hang out a “finch sock,” a small bag made of netting that contains about two pounds of bird seed. It is designed for finches (hence the name) to come and pick out the seeds with their beaks. It took a couple of days for the birds to figure out that there was food available, but when they did — boy, golly! In just a weekend they polished off the entire two pounds of seed!
Most of the birds that showed up were Lesser Goldfinches (carduelis psaltria). These acrobatic little creatures would flutter in from all directions and hang on the sides of the sock three or four at a time. I never had paid much attention to finches, and I was surprised at how beautiful they were.
The picture below displays quite well the typical markings of a Lesser Goldfinch in the West. Males have a black cap and sometimes a green back, with bright yellow belly. Females are dusky colored.
We had lots of the psaltria show up, but we also had a few House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus). Tomorrow I’ll post some pictures of these little red fellows. You’ll enjoy it!