Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Pic of the Day
House Finch – Santa Rita Lodge; Madera Canyon, Arizona: The House Finch is a common bird found at feeders across most of North America. Originally the House Finch was a bird endemic to the western United States. In the early part of the twentieth century House Finches were capture in western states and sent to New York city where they were sold in the illegal pet trade as Hollywood Finches. In 1940 pet store owners in New York City got word that wildlife officials were going to raid their stores for illegal trafficking of native species. To avoid prosecution the owners released the birds.
The small number of House Finches that were released began breeding and spread across the eastern half of the country in less than fifty years. Now, east meets west and House Finches are inhabitant of most towns across the United States except for those in the prairie states. It is likely that the bird will eventually inhabit all cities in the country.
As always this is not a happy story of introduced species. House Finches are aggressive birds and have now replaced the eastern endemic Purple Finch whose numbers have been drasticly reduced in much of its range.
Nikon D300, Nikkor 500 f4, Digital Capture, ISO 200