Juvenile male purple finches will still sing to try to attract a mate even though they haven’t developed their breeding plumage yet. (Wikimedia Commons/Caleb Putnam)

Juvenile male purple finches will still sing to try to attract a mate even though they haven’t developed their breeding plumage yet. (Wikimedia Commons/Caleb Putnam)

The Nature Nut

Rosamund Pojar

A couple of weeks ago I heard the first joyful warble of the purple finch. Excited to see it in all its rosy pink/purple finery, I set about searching for him.

To my surprise, my songster was a rather dull greyish-brown, speckled bird that resembled a female finch.

In most bird species (but not all) it is the males that put on a show to impress the females. Dressed in his showy breeding feathers and singing his own special song, the male hopes a female will accept him as a mate and together they will raise their offspring.

So why was I seeing what looked like a female singing?

In purple finches, the first-year males sing. Even though they are not decked out in their breeding plumage, they sing heartily hoping they will attract a female and get the chance to breed.

They must get lucky sometimes, otherwise this behaviour would have been abandoned long ago.



editor@interior-news.com

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