Image via WikipediaHi, I recently started feeding our winter birds here in Flat Rock, Mi. I've seen all the usual winter birds listed here. I saw the other day that all I can do is describe it as similiar in size to a sparrow, but with a very rosey-blush color on it's chest and cap. I immediately thought of the Grosbeak, but the rose color was just that...a pale rose blush but pronounced enough that you could see it. All the Grosbeaks I've see have a deep hue, almost red...and they didn't seem similar in size either. Do you know what this could've been? We're using regular bird seed with lots of nut mixture and suet with heavy peanut content. Attracts a lot of birds we usually don't see...especially the Blue Jays and Cardinals! Love it!
In Michigan, if you have your feeders filled with WBU No-Mess Blend, sunflower, safflower or Nyjer® seed, the chances are good that one of the red finches of winter is probably a regular visitor to your yard.
The odds are best for a visit by the ubiquitous House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus. These 6″, talkative little birds get their name from their habit of hanging around houses. They build their nests in the hanging baskets, wreaths, or in trees, and their cheery warble or a variety of chirps is a constant around the bird feeders.
The amount of red the finch has can vary depending on the amount of carotenoid pigments consumed in its food during molt. They have slight white wing bands, a brownish red head with a pink chest that has brown streaking. They also appear to have a sleek body and stand tall.
Once restricted to the West, this talented songster became firmly established throughout all of eastern North America. In 1940, they were illegally captured in California and imported to New York by pet dealers. Fearing prosecution, the dealers released their “Hollywood Finches” on Long Island in 1940. Since then the finches have spread to all corners of the east and have even rejoined their relatives in the west.
House Finches are always exciting visitors to your feeders. These finches have a vegetarian diet like most finches. They do not rely on insects during the summer nesting season and continue to eat seeds all year-round.
Source: Wild Birds Unlimited BOTM