[CT Birds] A red bird question...

Carrier Graphics carriergraphics at sbcglobal.net
Tue Apr 23 12:43:13 EDT 2013

Several years ago, I wrote an article about the arrival timing of PURPLE FINCH 
with the flowering of the Red Maple in spring, and how they eat the flowers of 
this tree as well as the buds. This spring, as usual, here they are in numbers 
as the Red Maples bloom. So a question came up:

Can the bright raspberry red color of the Purple Finch have anything to do with 
the bright red of the Maples flowers of which they eat? 

I searched that other Finches, besides Purples, also eat the flowers as well. 
They are: 

Pine Siskin
Pine Grosbeak
Evening Grosbeak
House Finch

Three of these birds above also poses Red in their plumage.Plus 13 other species 
of birds also eat the buds and flowers of red Maples as well as the seeds. So my 
question is, do Purple finch as well as other reddish birds, get their reddish 
plumage from eating these red flowers? I know Flamingos require foods with red 
in them to get their pink coloring, so could the bright red flowers of the Red 
Maple contribute to the bright reds of the Purple finch?

Paul Carrier - Harwinton

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