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Sunday, 9 May 2010

American HOUSE FINCH present for a sixth day

This orange-yellow variant HOUSE FINCH, superbly photographed by Steve Rogers, remains present today, still frequenting the Land#s End car park and Swingates area.
There are two theories on how House Finches get this particular plumage, one suggesting that in the West Coast of America, it is a colour morph. It seems far more plausible however that it is diet-related, as has been frequently proven by finch breeders in the UK. If House Finches do not get the correct nutrients in their diet at the critical time of moult, the replaced feathers newly acquired are yellow or orange-yellow rather than purple-based.
After much consultation, both with UK advisors and of those commentators in North America, the current feeling of the UK400 Club/BBA is that this Cornish male is more likely to be an escape than a natural or ship-assisted vagrant. Investigations are still ongoing of course and a further announcement will be made when a thorough review is made of all of the factors influencing this sighting.
Alex Lees has very kindly provided a wealth of additional information on House Finches and has pointed out that there are actually three records in The Netherlands rather than one as I stated previously.