[CT Birds] Question about purple finches and evening grosbeaks

Ryan Wirtes tachycineta at fastmail.com
Thu Aug 17 10:35:59 EDT 2017

Hi Bob,

Regarding the purple finches: when I lived in Woodbury back in 2010, I
had a few show up in my yard in October, then again in 2012 (same
month).  I moved to Bethlehem a few years ago, which is only several
miles north of where I lived before and experienced the same pattern of
them showing up in October (2014).  In 2015 a couple showed up in the
spring (April/May), then one in December.  Starting in 2016 a couple
showed up in the spring and by June there were at least 2 pairs of
purple finches which ended up breeding around my yard!  I hoped that
they would return to breed this year and they did,  having one male show
up in March and by April a total of six at my feeders!  So again there
was one pair nesting around my yard, another pair breeding a little
further away, and up the road from my house another breeding pair.  I
checked eBird and it looks like purple finches breed in the northwest
corner (Litchfield county) of CT, which is consistent with my sightings.
 There has been at least one pair breeding regularly at White Memorial -
Little Pond in Litchfield, so this might be a good area to explore next

Ryan Wirtes

On Thu, Aug 17, 2017, at 08:03 AM, Cathy or Bob Maleski via CTBirds
> As far as I can tell, while I have seen house finches all over the
> country, I believe I have only seen one pair of purple finches in my
> life. They were in a tree hollow at Laurel Marsh in Manchester CT.  I
> grew up in Massachusetts near Greenfield, and frequented the woods when I
> was young.  I have lived in Ellington CT area the last 43 years.  So, my
> question is where are the purple finches to be found?
> Also, in Massachusetts evening grosbeaks were an automatic every winter,
> with flocks sure to come every time we threw out sunflower seeds.  I have
> never seen one in CT.  Are they in major decline, or did their range move
> to the north?
> Any replies would be appreciated.
> Bob
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