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 Identifying finch

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redphoenix
Hatchling
Hatchling


Number of posts : 33
Age : 31
Registration date : 2008-08-09

PostSubject: Identifying finch   Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:41 am

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The family Fringillidae consists of "true" finches that are small- to moderately large-sized birds with a compact body, a short, conical-shaped bill, strong skull, and a peaked head with large jaw muscles. They have easily seen shoulder patches, a short neck, plumage (feathers) that vary from dull to colorful, nine small outer primary feathers on their wings that are hidden by wing coverts (small feather around quill base), and a long tail with twelve feathers. Finches are 3 to 10 inches (7.6 to 25.4 centimeters) long and weigh between 0.3 and 2.1 ounces (8 and 60 grams).

BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCTION

Finches are strong fliers, and able to hop and run over short distances. Some species migrate long distances to warmer climates, while others wander constantly in search for food. Finches are mostly quiet birds, but do have short, sharp calls that are used to communicate and to warn of predators. Males use unique songs to defend a large breeding territory and to attract a mate. Because finches are spread out throughout the world, songs vary widely.

Female finches build cup-shaped nests of grasses and other plant fibers. Nests are constructed in trees, shrubs, or rocky crevices. Most species breed as a mating pair, but others form small family groups. Once the male and female bonds, they are monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus; one mate) for the breeding season. Females lay two to six eggs, which vary with respect to species as to color and markings. The eggs are incubated (kept warm for hatching) usually by the female, but sometimes by both parents, which also take care of young.


DIET

Finches eat seeds, grains, and other vegetable matter. They also eat insects and other small invertebrates (animals without a backbone). Many species forage on the ground, while others feed in trees.

BILLS FOR SHELLING SEEDS

Finches have a bill suited for shelling seeds. Each seed is wedged in a special groove on the side of the palate (roof of the mouth) and crushed by raising its lower jaw onto it. The shell husk is then peeled off with the tongue, releasing the kernel. The bird throws away the husk, and the kernel is taken off with its tongue and swallowed.


HABITAT

They prefer forests, shrubby areas, savannas (flat grasslands), grasslands, agricultural areas, parks, and gardens.

Sample pic
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