I’m not sure why, but this year there have been more Purple Finches in our yard. One thing I’ve noticed is how much the female* Purple Finches vocalize. I learned growing up that male birds sing and females don’t, but it turns out that’s wrong. It is often that way for temperate-zone species, apparently, but in other parts of the world female song is much more common. And even around here it happens more than you’d think.
Anyway, I noticed this female* Purple Finch singing in our backyard today and recorded a brief video:
More about this observation, including photos and a longer audio recording, is in my eBird list. More about the topic of female birdsong is in this episode of the ABA podcast: The Secrets of Female Bird Song with Lauryn Benedict. More about Dr. Benedict’s work, and about female birdsong in general, can be found at femalebirdsong.org.
*Or maybe not female. In Nathan Pieplow’s excellent Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Western North America he observes that although female birdsong is regularly reported for this species, most of these are likely first-year males, which are visually very similar to females. So now I’m inclined to think that’s what this bird was: a first-year male. Still very cool!🙂