Sunday Inspiration – Finches IV

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) on Thistle by Fenton

So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day. (Genesis 1:21-23 NKJV)

Today, we finish up the Finch Family. I trust you have enjoyed getting to see so many of the finches, “after their kind.” Our Lord, their Creator, gave them some mighty nice colors and markings. There are missing ones, not shown, that are available, but we don’t have permission to use them. So, if you check the internet and books, they can be found.

Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus) ©WikiC

Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus) ©WikiC

Spinus is a genus of passerine birds in the finch family. It contains the North and South American siskins and goldfinches.

Purple-throated Euphonia (Euphonia chlorotica) by Dario Sanches

Purple-throated Euphonia (Euphonia chlorotica) by Dario Sanches

Most Euphonias are dark metallic blue above and bright yellow below. Many have contrasting pale foreheads and white undertails. Some have light blue patches on the head and/or orangish underparts. They range in overall length from 9 to 11 cm (3.5 to 4.3 in). They eat small fruit and berries particularly mistletoe (Loranthaceae). Some species may also eat some insects.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matthew 28:5-6 NKJV)

“Once Upon A Tree” ~ by Faith Baptist Church Choir

“Crown Him Lord of All” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

Because of Resurrection Sunday – Easter last week, there was no Sunday Inspiration.

*

Sunday Inspiration – Finches I

Sunday Inspiration – Finches II

Sunday Inspiration – Finches III

More Sunday Inspiration

Fringillidae – Finches

Fringillid Finches & Allies – Ian’s Birdway

Finch – Wikipedia

*

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*

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

*

Sunday Inspiration – Finches I

Sunday Inspiration – Finches II

More Sunday Inspiration

Fringillidae – Finches

Fringillid Finches & Allies – Ian’s Birdway

Finch – Wikipedia

Sharing The Gospel

*

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*

“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

*

Sunday Inspiration

Fringillidae – Finches

Changed From the Inside Out

*

Ian’s Bird of the Week – European Goldfinch

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Female by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – European Goldfinch ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 1/21/15

Last week I mentioned that the Zebra Finch was an Estrildid or Grass Finch (family Estrildidae) without exploring the significance of this, so here is a taxonomically quite different finch, the European Goldfinch (family Fringillidae), to continue the subject. Choosing it was prompted by an email from some English friends of mine currently in New Zealand who expressed disappointment that most of the birds seemed to be ones introduced from the British Isles, naming in particular the Goldfinch. So here is a photo of one that I took in its native habitat, when staying with these friends in 2001 on Alderney one of the smaller inhabited Channel Islands off the coast of France.

It was introduced to Australia as well in the 1860s and is quite widespread in the southeastern mainland and on Tasmania. It’s an attractive bird with a canary-like song and like the Zebra Finch a popular cage bird. So it’s not surprising that homesick settlers introduced it. It does well in farmland, parks and gardens but not in native vegetation.

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Male by IanThe sex of adult Goldfinches can be told from their plumage, even though they are very similar and most field guides don’t make the distinction. It’s a bit like those Spot the Difference puzzles, so here, second photo, is an Irish male to compare with the female in the first. The pale cheeks on the female are buff, those on the male white. The red bib on the female is rounded, on the male more rectangular. The female usually has a complete buff breast band; the male just has buff breast patches separate by white. The male is also whiter underneath. There are other subtle differences not apparent in these photos such as the amount of white on the tail.

PAS-Frin European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Juvenile by IanYou can tell from their stout conical bills that they are seed-eaters, and any such vaguely sparrow-like bird is likely to be called a ‘finch’. In temperate zones seeds are available mainly in spring and autumn, so dietary versatility is needed. The male is chomping its way through the buds and flowers of Hawthorn and Goldfinches will also feed on invertebrates. Their favourite food is the seeds of thistles and their, by finch standards, relatively pointed bills are adapted to picking out seeds from among thorns, like the juvenile bird in the third photo in autumn. Its plumage, apart from the black and yellow wings, is mainly brown and streaked with no red or black on the head, and almost pipit-like.

The juveniles acquire the adult plumage during the first autumn moult, and the rather scruffy individual in the fourth photo is in mid-transition. This photo shows the very pointed bill, even if the owner is looking a bit doubtful about the even scruffier thistle head.

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Juvenile by IanGetting around to the taxonomy at last, the various groups of finch-like birds have caused and still cause avian taxonomists many headaches, and I don’t want to trigger any more here. It is sufficient to say that the approximately 700 global species of finch-like birds belong to several separate lineages, currently separated at the level of family.

The Fringillidae to which the Goldfinch belongs, sometimes called the ‘true’ finches (by the Europeans of course) have an almost global distribution but are completely absent, naturally, from Australasia. The Estrildidae, which include all the native Australian grass finches, occur only in Africa, southern and southeast Asia and Australasia (but not New Zealand).

The African members belong to a group called Waxbills, the Asian ones are mainly Munias or Mannikins and the grass finches are predominantly Australian. The Estrildids occur mainly in tropical or sub-tropical regions, and only in Australia have some Firetails ventured into cooler areas: notably the Red-eared Firetail in SW Western Australia and the Beautiful Firetail in the SE mainland and Tasmania.

I’m in danger of getting carried away here, so I’ll stop. Here are some links if you want to explore their photos further: FringillidaeEstrildidae and I haven’t even mentioned the other finch-like birds such as the Sparrows  Buntings and New World SparrowsNew World OriolesWeaversTanagersCardinals

Greetings
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/
Where to Find Birds in Northern Queensland: iTunes; Google Play Kobo Books
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. (Genesis 7:14-15 NKJV)

More beautiful birds to check out from Ian. Thanks, Ian. If you check out his links, you will find some very nice photos.

*

Ian’s Bird of the Week

*

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Eurasian Bullfinch

Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) by Ian

Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Eurasian Bullfinch ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 2/3/14

In response to last week’s photos of the Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, I received a photo of an American Evening Grosbeak – thank you Jeff – with a similar large pale finch bill. Typical Northern Hemisphere finches such as the Evening Grosbeak belong to the family Fringillidae while all the native Australian finches belong to the family Estrildidae, so I thought it might be of interest to say a little about finch taxonomy and change, as what we think of as typical finch seed-eating bills appear to have arisen independently in more than one instance.

So, this week’s bird is for a change a Fringillid finch, the Eurasian Bullfinch and a favourite of mine since I was a birding teenager in Ireland many years ago. the male is perhaps the most colourful of European song birds and it was always, and still is, a thrill for me to see one. They aren’t uncommon, but are secretive and usually occur in pairs rather than flocks so are easy to overlook unless you look out for their characteristic white rumps as they fly out of the thick foliage of hedges, probably their favourite habitat.

Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) by Ian

Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) by Ian

The bird in the first two photos is feeding on the flowers of the Blackthorn and both its English name and its scientific one Prunus spinosa reveal why it is a popular hedge shrub for stock, having been around a lot longer than barbed wire. It has other uses to including making Blackthorn walking sticks and clubs, such as Shillelaghs. It produces an attractive look fruit called sloes, which look a bit like black grapes but are very astringent.

(edited)
Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) Female by Ian

Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) Female by Ian

Back to Bullfinches. The female, third photo, has a latte-coloured breast instead of a salmon pink one, but is just as elegant and was the partner of the male in the other two photos. The hedge in question is near my sister’s house in Co. Louth in an area (below) where there are still plenty of hedges and is good for other song birds like Yellowhammers and Winter Wrens.

Looking North from near Clogherhead by Ian

Recent DNA work has shed some light on the inter-relationships between various families of song birds with thick seed-eating bills, the most familiar of which are the Fringillid finches, the Estrildid finches, the Eurasian Sparrows (Passeridae), the Buntings and North American Sparrows (Emberizidae). These were originally ascribed to the same superfamily Passeroidea by Sibley and Ahlquist (1990) and that grouping is still largely intact but includes other families that do not have thick bills, including the Sunbirds and Flowerpeckers such as the Mistletoebird (Nectariniidae), the Pipits and Eurasian Wagtails (Motacillidae) and the New World Wood Warblers (Parulidae).

It now seems that the Sunbirds and Flowerpeckers split off first, then the Estrildid Finches and Weavers (Ploceidae), then probably the Sparrows and finally the Wagtails and Pipits, the Fringillid Finches  the Buntings and New World Sparrows and the New World Warblers. From this we can conclude that Estrildid and Fringillid Finches are not closely related and that a traditional morphological approach to classification would have failed to link the Wagtails and New World Warblers to the Fringillidae.

In case all this taxonomic detail leaves you cold, I’ve included links to the all the families mentioned on the Birdway website so can check out the photos instead. The sharp-eyed among you will notice that the BirdLife International sequence of families on the website is not quite the same as the order here. That’s because it predates the latest sequence which I’ve extracted from a 2012 paper on global bird diversity in Nature by Jetz et al. No doubt the grouping and order will change again in the future.

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:

And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. (Luke 14:23)

What a beautifully colored bird and, of course, Ian took great photos. Even Ian gets into the “taxonomic detail.” Those recent DNA work he mentioned is shaking up the birding community. These studies keeping bird guide book writers busy.

The Bullfinch is a bulky bull-headed bird. The upper parts are grey; the flight feathers and short thick bill are black; as are the cap and face in adults (they are greyish-brown in juveniles), and the white rump and wing bars are striking in flight. The adult male has red underparts, but females and young birds have grey-buff underparts. The song of this unobtrusive bird contains fluted whistles.

(Wikipedia)

See Ian’s Bird of the Week and the various links in the article.

*

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)