Thursday, 25 April 2013

25/04: HOW TO SEX EUROPEAN GOLDFINCHES

Which is something I guess you've all been worrying about LOL

Seriously, since getting back from Fuerteventura 3 weeks ago we've noticed a drop in the number of birds at our garden feeders which is good as it means they aren't so desperate for our help.  But I do miss them!

Over the last couple of days numbers have started increasing again.    'Arfur' and 'Olive' our Blue Tit couple are constantly flying in and out of their favourite nestbox.     Sadly the box is on the side of our biggest shed which lost most of its roofing felt during the last sessions of gale force winds.   David tacked it back temporarily but we need to get the roof re-covered urgently to ensure the inside stays dry.   The work is pencilled in for the end of next week so just hope this doesn't scare the Blue Tits off.

Anyway, we've had Greenfinches:




The woodpecker was back yesterday, feeding on the fatballs but I didn't get a photo

We have a small number of Goldfinch visitors.    The collective noun is a 'charm' of Goldfinches - nice eh?

I found a very helpful article/video on 'the net' explaining how to determine the sex of Goldfinches.   The information is from Graeme J Smith (Britainsbirder.co.uk) and was posted on his Flickr account in 2008.
The differences are very subtle but now I'm aware of what to look for its easy.

Males photographed in my garden a couple of days ago:




Females



OK Spot the difference ..... the red colouring on the males extends further back over the eyes.   Also, what is less clear from a distance is that the little 'moustache feathers' above the beak are black in the male and light coloured in the females.

The fact that this female has light speckles in her black cap is just coincidence I think and nothing to do with being female (unless anyone can tell me otherwise)

So thanks to Graeme ... another little fact to stash away

Arty stuff to follow soon ... honest!

4 comments:

Jo said...

Pretty difficult to tell. Nice pix though. I miss having a back yard (garden) to have bird houses and feeders.

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

Jan/PetsToPosies.com said...

I like birds but have to admit I can't see a definite difference in the male and female!!!

Your pictures are great though so keep 'em comin' - well, can you take photos AND post your art too?

Polly Birchall said...

Trust you to bring sex into a blog on art!!!!!!!!!

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Ladies
I love my garden visitors but they are distracting at times :-)

At my great age Polly, talking about it is as good as it gets (only joking)