New Hampshire State Bird
Purple Finch (common name)
Carpoduacus purpureus (scientific name)
The purple finch is an attractive, tiny, stout bird that is right at home in New Hampshire's cool coniferous forests. It was designated the official state bird in 1957. The male has purplish-rose foreparts, brownish wings and tail, and a white belly. Females are a streaked brownish white. The bird has a powerful conical beak used to extract and crush the nuts and seeds of trees including pines, elms, poplars, and maples.
Purple finches typically forage high in trees and nest at heights of up to 60 feet (18 m). Their diet also includes buds, nectar (especially honeysuckle), berries (blackberries, juniper berries), and the seeds of fruit including crabapples, cherries, and apricots. In winter they will descend to the ground to eat the seeds of dandelions, ragweed, and cocklebur. They also occasionally eat aphids, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles. Both male and female purple finches are vocal, their sounds including whistles, a concise "tick, tick, tick," runs of warbling song, and imitations of the songs of several other birds. Purple finches construct compact nests of twigs lined with grass high in conifer trees at the ends of branches.
ALSO KNOWN AS
English robin, strawberry bird, gray linnet, red linnet
Courting males sing softly to females while hopping and fluffing their feathers, often holding a twig or blade of grass in the beak. If not rebuffed, the male will fly straight up, descend, drop his wings, and point his beak skyward. Purple finches will compete aggressively over food, even to the extent of pecking a rival.
Pine or mixed deciduous and pine forests, orchards, suburban areas, and parks, particularly near water.
Range: Found in two distinct ranges. The larger is the U.S. and southern Canada east of the Rocky Mountains; the other is along the Pacific Coast from British Columbia to southern California. It breeds throughout all of southern Canada, the northeastern United States, and the entire Pacific Coast of the United States.
Migration: Purple finches are erratic short-distance migrants that follow the maturing of pine nuts. Typically they leave Canadian breeding grounds to winter across the central and southeastern United States.
Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC). Populations in the north and east of their range have been declining in recent years because of competition with the non-native and larger house finch.
Nesting Period: March to early April
Size of Clutch: 2-7 eggs
Incubation Period: 12-13 days
Egg Description: Light greenish blue with brown and black marks
Egg Size: Length 0.7-0.9 in (18-23 mm), width 0.5-0.6 in (13-15 mm)
House finch, Cassin's finch, sparrow, pine grosbeak
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|Author: World Trade Press|