Friday, March 16, 2012

House Finch From My House

My condo (now with a taxable value of $.98 per my latest tax statement) has two levels.  For  years, I have been watching the goings-on in the spruce tree about 25 feet outside the second-floor bedroom window.  For years, I had the thought of taking a nice picture of a bird in that tree.  I had even envisioned taking the screen out in the hope that I could have a clear view of the tree top with the big trees in the back ground (they're across the street).  

Yesterday,  a House Finch finally cooperated.  

Sadly, as you can see, years of hopes did not pan out.  I wasn't really ready for this. It was just there and I happened to have the camera on the dresser.  I knew there NO WAY I was getting that screen out without it the bird flying off.  So, against everything I have ever read, I photographed the bird through the dirty window. 

If only the angles were right....

If only the window was clean....

If only I knew what I was doing....

Looking at it  from a completely non-photographic perspective, it turns out this bird would not have been in my yard (or state, for that matter) as recently as the 1970's. 

Originally a bird of the western United States and Mexico, some wags were selling House Finches in New York City.  Realizing they were about to get hammered for clearly violating the Migratory Bird Act of 1918, they released the birds.  As the decades ticked by, the finches slowly moved west. 

Interestingly, the western population has not yet met up with the western advance of the eastern population.  70 years have gone by which means 70 generations (more actually, but it depends on how you do your math).  I know ornithologists are interested in seeing what happens when the two populations meet again somewhere in the central United States.  Will they interbreed?  Will they not?  If not, should they be considered two separate species?  Would, then, birders everywhere rejoice?

All that comes later, I guess.  In the meantime, I will enjoy my blurry photo taken through a dirty window. 

Anybody have any Windex, a ladder, and a hefty dose of motivation?

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