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Yellow House Finch

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Old Wednesday 10th July 2019, 18:46   #1
Maroon Jay
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Yellow House Finch

Saw a yellow variant House Finch today. The first one I have ever seen. How common/rare is this?
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Old Wednesday 10th July 2019, 19:04   #2
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Reasonably common, I used to see one or two regularly in the flocks frequenting my Reno feeders, for example. Dto for the orange and orange-red color variants. The variations aren’t genetic but are dependent on diet during feather formation so the same bird can be red one year and orange or yellow the next.

Here are some photos (scroll down a little to get to the House Finches—

https://www.flickr.com/photos/fugl/a...57687944116052
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Old Wednesday 10th July 2019, 19:35   #3
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Good photos and information. Thanks. Maybe they are more common in some areas than others. I do a lot of birding and had never seen one before. I wonder why two birds who live in the same patch of woods would be different colours.
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Old Wednesday 10th July 2019, 19:38   #4
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I'd suspect it'll be related to bird feeder density - the seed put in feeders has fewer anthocyanins in than natural food. So birds in rural areas eating mainly natural food will get good reds, those in urban areas with poorer feeder diets will be yellower.
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Old Wednesday 10th July 2019, 19:51   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
I'd suspect it'll be related to bird feeder density - the seed put in feeders has fewer anthocyanins in than natural food. So birds in rural areas eating mainly natural food will get good reds, those in urban areas with poorer feeder diets will be yellower.
Interesting point. . ..
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Old Wednesday 10th July 2019, 19:53   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fugl View Post
Reasonably common, I used to see one or two regularly in the flocks frequenting my Reno feeders, for example. Dto for the orange and orange-red color variants. The variations aren’t genetic but are dependent on diet during feather formation so the same bird can be red one year and orange or yellow the next.

Here are some photos (scroll done a little to get to the House Finches—

https://www.flickr.com/photos/fugl/a...57687944116052
Would you mind duplicating this post for the benefit of the BOURC?

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Old Wednesday 10th July 2019, 22:23   #7
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Interesting point. . ..
Should be testable - see if they'll eat grated beetroot, and turn extra bright purple if they do
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