Sunday Inspiration – Finches III

House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) by Ian

House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) by Ian

Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. (1 Kings 4:33 NKJV)

Well, we are still working our way through the large Fringillidae – Finches family. Today, Part III, we will begin with the genus Haemorhous (various shades of red are characteristic plumage colors of this group) which is more familiar to us in the U.S. Those are our Purple, Cassin’s, and House Finches.

Yellow-breasted Greenfinch (Chloris spinoides) ©WikiC

Yellow-breasted Greenfinch (Chloris spinoides) ©WikiC

After them the Greenfinches of the Chloris genus and the lone Desert Finch (Rhodospiza obsoleta), three Golden-winged Grosbeak (Rhynchostus) and an Oriole Finch (Linurgus olivaceus)

Yellow Canary (Crithagra flaviventris) Male ©WikiC

Yellow Canary (Crithagra flaviventris) Male ©WikiC

The next genus – Crithagra has 37 species which include Seedeaters, Citril, Canary, Serin, Siskin, and Grosbeak-Canary. With those, will end Finches III and save the rest of the family for Finches IV. Maybe with the DNA testing going on, some of this family may be split off to other families in the future and won’t be so large.

In case you missed the first two parts, you can click these links. Sunday Inspiration – Finches I and Sunday Inspiration – Finches II

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By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. He waters the hills from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. (Psalms 104:12-13 NKJV)

“Shout To The North and the South” ~ by Faith Baptist Church Choir

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Sunday Inspiration – Finches I

Sunday Inspiration – Finches II

More Sunday Inspiration

Fringillidae – Finches

Fringillid Finches & Allies – Ian’s Birdway

Finch – Wikipedia

Sharing The Gospel

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Sunday Inspiration – Finches I

Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) ©WikiC

The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. (Psalms 145:9-10 KJV)

The Fringillidae – Finches are another large family. With 225 species, the Sunday Inspiration will again have to be divided. This first group includes the Fringilla, Mycerobas, Hesperiphona, Coccothraustes, Eophona, Pinicola, Pyrrhulla, Leucosticte and Carpodacus genus. That is a total of 61 beautiful creations for Our Lord to check out. So, let’s see who they are.

Blue Chaffinch (Fringilla teydea) ©WikiC

Blue Chaffinch (Fringilla teydea) ©WikiC

The first three are from the Fringilla genus. Common Chaffinch, Blue Chaffinch and Brambling. The Chaffinch and Brambling breed in much of Europe, across Asia to Siberia and in northwest Africa. It prefers open woodland and often forages on the ground.

White-winged Grosbeak (Mycerobas carnipes) ©WikiC

White-winged Grosbeak (Mycerobas carnipes) ©WikiC

The Mycerobas grosbeaks are a genus of finch in the Fringillidae family. They are colorful finches and are at 20–23 cm the largest species in the family. They are found in the southern Himalayas and across into China.

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertinus) by Ian

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertinus) by Ian

Hesperiphona is a genus of grosbeaks in the family Fringillidae (the true finches). This genus is native to the New World.

Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) ©WikiC

The Hawfinch, along with the Chinese and Japanese Grosbeaks, and Pine Grosbeak are more of the closely related Grosbeak group.

Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) by Ian

Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula) by Ian

The seven Bullfinches (Pyrrhula) have glossy black wings and tail feathers. They show a white rump. The legs and feet are fleshy brown. Their short, swollen bill is adapted to eat buds, and is black except for the brown bullfinch, which has a grey or greenish-grey bill. The males can be distinguished by their orange or red breast. Some species have a black cap. All species occur in Asia.

Trumpeter Finch (Bucanetes githagineus) ©WikiC

Trumpeter Finch (Bucanetes githagineus) ©WikiC

These next five genus only have six birds; Bucanetes, Agraphospiza, Callacanthis, Pyrrhoplectes, Procarduelis.

Grey-crowned Rosy Finch (Leucosticte tephrocotis) by Ian

Grey-crowned Rosy Finch (Leucosticte tephrocotis) by Ian

The mountain finches are birds in the genus Leucosticte from the true finch family, Fringillidae. This genus also includes the rosy finches, named from their pinkish plumage.

Pink-browed Rosefinch (Carpodacus rodochroa) ©Wiki

The rosefinches are a genus, Carpodacus, of passerine birds in the finch family Fringillidae. Most are called “rosefinches” and as the word implies, have various shades of red in their plumage. The common rosefinch is frequently called the “rosefinch”.
The Carpodacus rosefinches occur throughout Eurasia, but the greatest diversity is found in the Sino-Himalayas suggesting that the species originated in this region.

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“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” (Psalms 23:6 KJV)
“But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning:” (Psalms 59:16a KJV)

“Mercies Anew” ~ by Lisa Brock, accompanied by Jill Foster

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Sunday Inspiration

Fringillidae – Finches

Changed From the Inside Out

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Zebra Finch

PAS-Estr Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Zebra Finch ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 1/12/14

Here’s a perhaps surprising omission so far from the bird of the week series, the Zebra Finch, In Australia the most widespread of the grass- or weaver-finches (family Estrildidae). It is resident almost throughout mainland Australia, avoiding only the very driest deserts (such as the Nullabor Plain and the Great Sandy Desert), Cape York and the cooler and wetter regions of southern Victoria and southern Western Australia. It is absent from Tasmania. I qualified ‘surprising omission’ with ‘perhaps’, as it’s natural to rush into print with rarer and more sought-after species, such as Gouldian Finches, and overlook the more common ones.

With a length of 10cm/4in, it is among the smallest of the 19 species of Estrildid finches found in Australia (17 naturally; 2 introduced), but the males in particular (first photo) are beautiful birds and are hugely popular all over the world. Given the rigours of their natural habitat, they are hardy birds and easy to breed. One of my favourite ways to lazily photograph birds is to sit quietly near a waterhole in dry country and see what arrives, and you can see the bird in the first photo has wet breast and flank feathers from having a dip.

PAS-Estr Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia by Ian

The second photo shows a pair drinking at the same spot. The male on the left is recognisable by its chestnut-coloured cheeks, while the female has plainer plumage, lacking the chestnut plumage on the cheeks and flanks and the stripes on the neck. She still has the stripy tail, white rump and diagnostic vertical ‘tear-drop’ stripe below the eye. This acts as camouflage by obscuring the eye and breaking up the outline of the head.

PAS-Estr Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia by IanThe third photo shows another pair at the same place. They would appear to be having a difference of opinion about something, and the body language suggests to me that the female is getting the upper hand. Most females have plain breasts, but some have a faint breast band like this one. The fourth photo shows another pair, the female having the more typical plain plumage. These two look as if they’re not on very good terms either, definitely not speaking to each other, so you won’t be surprised to hear that Zebra Finches form permanent pair bonds.

PAS-Estr Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia by IanTheir breeding cycles depend on seeding grasses and therefore on rainfall patterns. If the weather is warm enough for grasses to flower, the birds start breeding in response to rain, timing the hatching of the young with the appearance of seed. They will also feed on insects, particular when feeding young. In good conditions, the birds breed repeatedly, and the young, independent 35 days after hatching, can breed when as young as 80 days. Although the pair-bonds are permanent, Zebra Finches are very sociable, often breeding colonially and forming large flocks outside the breeding season. The bonding doesn’t prevent the females from getting on cosy terms with other males, and about 10% of clutches have two fathers (HBW).

PAS-Estr Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia by Ian

PAS-Estr Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia by Ian

Young juveniles resemble the females, but have dark bills. The bird in the fifth photo is an older juvenile male with still only patchy development of the adult plumage.

A closely related population is resident in the Lesser Sundas from Lombok to Timor. This is slightly larger, has a recognisable different song and the males have plain grey rather than striped throats and upper breast. When mixed with Australian birds on captivity, they normally avoid interbreeding unless the male plumage is painted to look like the other type or young birds have been imprinted by being reared by foster parents of the other type. Such hybrids are fertile. Even so, some authorities treat the two races as different species, the Timor and Australian Zebra Finches. ‘Zebra’ doesn’t seem to me a suitable name for the unstriped Timor one, maybe ‘Unzebra’ would be better?

Greetings
Ian

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Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Bird Photos http://www.birdway.com.au/
Where to Find Birds in Northern Queensland: iTunesGoogle Play Kobo Books
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

Thanks again Ian for showing us some more beauties. I have seen these in captivity, but it is always nice to see them where they belong – out enjoying the great outdoors.

I also appreciate Ian telling us about how to distinguish between them. That third photo might be of the male being so “overwhelmed” by her beauty that he fell back and sat down to admire her. :0)  (We really never know what a bird is thinking, do we?)

Looking at these birds can’t help but bring these verses to mind:

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6 KJV)

Maybe the Lord created these birds with stripes to remind us of that fact.

The Zebra Finches are members of the Estrildidae Family which has 141 species. See:

Ian’s Estrididae Family

Estrildidae – Waxbills, Munias & Allies here

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Plum-headed Finches

Plum-headed Finch (Neochmia modesta) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Plum-headed Finches ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 6-28-14

Bird of the week numbering has been a bit wonky lately, two #502s, no #503 to compensate, and two #504s and the one previous to this, Halls Babbler was #506 and should have been #507. Hopefully, we are back on track now with #508, the Plum-headed Finch. One of my favourite methods of bird photography is to relax by a water-hole in a comfortable camping chair and see what comes along. I did this at Bowra in April, and was treated to several pairs of Plum-headed Finches, presumably breeding as a result of rain several weeks earlier.

The ‘plum’ bit refers to the gorgeous cap, dark and extensive in the male, above, or paler and less extensive in the female, which has consequently space for a white eye-stripe. Males have black chins, females white ones. The specific modesta presumably refers to the understated colours, but I think the barred breast and flanks make them look very smart, and it’s always a pleasure to see them.

Plum-headed Finch (Neochmia modesta) by Ian Fem

The genus Neochmia contains only three other species, all of them Australian: Star, Red-browed and Crimson Finches, and none barred, so the Plum-headed looks quite distinctive. In the past it has been placed in its own genus, but mitochondrial studies show that it’s quite closely related to both the Star and Red-browed Finches. lum-headed Finch (Neochmia modesta) by Ian males

They have quite a widespread distribution in Queensland and New South Wales, but mainly inland and rather patchy. With an average length of 11cm/4.3in, they’re quite small. They’re popular as cage birds and used to be trapped a lot, but have been protected since 1972. Plum-headed Finch (Neochmia modesta) by Ian male

The bird in the fourth photo was photographed in the light of the setting sun, hence the lovely glow. I’ve been on the road for a few days taking (almost) the last location photos for Where to Find Birds in Northeastern Queensland so I’ll keep this short. One more day trip along the inland route to Paluma, and that’s it.

Links to the other members of the tribe:

Red-browed Finch
Crimson Finch
Star Finch

Best wishes

Ian

**************************************************

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Bird Photos http://www.birdway.com.au/
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. (Genesis 1:30 NKJV)

What a neat looking Finch, Ian. Thanks again for sharing with us. Plum-headed Finches belong to the Estrildidae – Waxbills, Munias & Allies Family which has 141 species.

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Ian’s Finches:

Other Links:

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Version 3.3 Finished – Taxonomy or Genealogy?

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) female by Raymond Barlow

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) female by Raymond Barlow

As I mentioned in Here We Go Again – IOC Version 3.3, I skipped doing the Fringillidae – Finches Family because of the many taxonomy changes. Well, all the others were finished and decided to dig in to those Finches. After deciding to make the changes directly on the page by cutting, moving, and re-pasting in its new position, the process began.

At 2:00 AM this morning I finally finished the page. I couldn’t stop in the middle with everything so juggled around, so I kept going. After some sleep, I had to chuckle about what they did to that poor Finch family. It was not just moving one genus to another spot, but it appeared that they picked and chose this one species from here and another species from a different genus. If that wasn’t challenging enough, the genus (the first name in parenthesis) was changed on quite a few birds. For example the Evening Grosbeak above was shuffled, while the American Goldfinch went from (Carduelis tristis) to (Spinus tristis)

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) on Thistle by Fenton

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) on Thistle by Fenton

“For I am the LORD, I do not change; (Malachi 3:6a NKJV)

All of these birds were re-named to the Spinus genus and placed in this new order:

Tibetan Serin (Spinus thibetanus)
Lawrence’s Goldfinch (Spinus lawrencei)
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)
Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus)
Antillean Siskin (Spinus dominicensis)
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)
Black-capped Siskin (Spinus atriceps)
Black-headed Siskin (Spinus notatus)
Black-chinned Siskin (Spinus barbatus)
Yellow-bellied Siskin (Spinus xanthogastrus)
Olivaceous Siskin (Spinus olivaceus)
Hooded Siskin (Spinus magellanicus)
Saffron Siskin (Spinus siemiradzkii)
Yellow-faced Siskin (Spinus yarrellii)
Red Siskin (Spinus cucullatus)
Black Siskin (Spinus atratus)
Yellow-rumped Siskin (Spinus uropygialis)
Thick-billed Siskin (Spinus crassirostris)
Andean Siskin (Spinus spinescens)

If you wonder why, as I did, check out this article about The phylogenetic relationships and generic limits of finches (Fringillidae). If you scroll through, you will find there are re connections all over the place. Do I understand it, No. But summarized, they have been doing DNA studies and found out that their family tree was not what they thought.

Recently I started working on our Family Tree or Genealogy and just about tangled it up as much. One wrong branch led to another and who knows where it and Grandpa would have landed had it not been corrected. This is what they were doing to the Finches and also to the other two families that had major revamps with this latest Version 3.3. The other families were the  Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks and Eagles, and  Caprimulgidae – Nightjars. At times it felt like they had thrown all the names of those birds up in the air and let them land where ever they chose. They, those that are involved around the world, have done much research and have spent numerous hours working these changes out. They are to be commended.

I trust the next version has a little fewer changes. I need my sleep.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. (Psalms 127:2 KJV)

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, (Proverbs 24:33 ESV)