Search This Blog

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I am not a shopper (unless you count GIRO) - and few things have the capacity to make a trip to a Nanaimo mall memorable. A feisty red-headed house finch singing his heart out while perched on the ledge of a department store window, though, did it yesterday.

Nothing like a finch to brighten up a store window

I heard him as we were walking from the car to the mall entrance. That amazing song always gets my attention – how could it not? If you aren’t familiar with it you can go to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds site (, choose ‘house finch’, then ‘sound’, and be prepared to be delighted. You can even ‘watch’ the song in sonograph form.

Since male birds sing to attract a mate or protect a territory, I wondered why this eminently eligible finch had chosen as his home a vast concrete parking lot with only a few bushes and a couple of trees nearby. He was certainly no wallflower!

But maybe that was the point; maybe he already had everything he needed, since female finches look for mates with the reddest heads and breasts and the most complex songs they can find. Apparently, these equate with the capacity to be a successful breeding partner. So maybe this guy was counting on his innate good looks and singing voice - the Elvis of the bird world? And home is, after all, wherever the heart is.

No comments: