poetry and prose about place

at the bird feeder #6 – Purple Finch

with 17 comments

On Thursday, we had a Hairy Woodpecker and a large flock of male and female Purple Finches at the bird feeder.  The Peterson Field Guide describes the Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus) as ‘… a Sparrow dipped in raspberry juice.’   I can’t improve on that description!  The other particularly noticeable feature is its large sturdy beak.  My husband took a few photos since I was not home, just enough to give me one to draw.

I miss most of the feeder birds since I leave in the early light and come home after dark. Nevertheless, the Chickadees and Goldfinches are usually there to see me off.   We have one Chickadee who always has his ‘hair’ ruffed up, like a rock star with a ‘do’.



Purple Finch

                (Carpodacus purpureus)


sunflower seed and millet

purple finch posed in the maple

sullen brow

blunt beak

metallic tick


he knows my eye

at the edge of the glass

my struggle for stamina


he is immobile as a post

a vermillion bird stuffed

with husks of sunflower seed


he sees me sidle to the chair

watches me settle


he is still

as a post card


seedless husks of sunflower



©  Jane Tims  2012

©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

March 2, 2012 at 6:26 am

17 Responses

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  1. Sweet. Through and through.



    March 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    • Hi. Thanks. I wonder if you draw birds. I really like the black and white drawings on your site. Jane


      jane tims

      March 11, 2012 at 8:38 am

  2. I love the chicadee’s “do.” Very cute. And the description of the Purple Finch is wonderful. I should switch to the Peterson Field Guide. I like the descriptions better than the one I’m currently using.

    Lovely sketch and poem, Jane. 🙂



    March 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    • Hi. Thanks for your words. I think a combination of guides is the best approach. Jane


      jane tims

      March 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm

  3. Jane, as always I find myself transported in your poems. Just like I am there. The way you craft your poems with photos and drawings is very special, and I think, show a very broad range of talent. I’ve told you before, but I will tell you again..Your blog is something very special and i am SO glad I have it on feed!!! Thanks Jane!




    March 4, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    • Hi. Thank you so much for your praise. I enjoy making these posts so much. It is also good to see other people’s very fine writing and yours is no exception!!! Jane


      jane tims

      March 5, 2012 at 6:44 am

  4. I am envious of your drawing abilities! That little purple finch is perfect. He is one of my favourites; that raspberry juice colour is SOooo vivid. Not too much less dramatic than the male cardinal. A Mr. Cardinal visited our bird feeder while I was sewing this morning. He made my morning. I am always so pleased to see that flash of red that you’d think I had seen something incredibly rare. They never stop being special to me.


    Robby Robin's Journey

    March 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    • Hi Jane. Now I am envious of you. A cardinal. I long to see one at our feeders. We have tried every combination of food but no luck. Jane


      jane tims

      March 5, 2012 at 6:42 am

  5. I like your husband’s photo – what I notice especially is how the legs of the bird create a triangle that echoes the triangles of the branches. The tail does a similar thing where it intersects with the branch.
    This bird looks similar to the European coal tit. The purple finch looks a bit like a chaffinch in shape – though from your description definately not similar in colour.


    Sonya Chasey

    March 4, 2012 at 8:10 am

    • Hi Sonya. I looked at the photo again and it is full of triangles! I also looked at a photo of the coal tit and they are very similar. I can’t believe you don’t have Chickadees… they are everywhere here, first at the feeder each morning, last at night. Jane


      jane tims

      March 4, 2012 at 10:18 am

  6. Jane,,,,What a true and beautiful feeling,,waking up on Mon, Wed and Friday,,clicking on your site and reading your works.!!! My Dad would say to you,,,”Job Well Done.!” You make me smile,,and you bring back memories. I also have “diaries” dated back to 1975, I only pray that when I “go” ,someone like yourself gets to read them. And I am a lover of my “birds”,,My favorite are my Grosbeaks. Since we moved,,it has been hard getting birds to these new feeders,,my neighbour gets them all,,I guess they think that grass is greener on the other side.! Ha.! I will NOT give up. I “will” win them over.! Keep up the good work Jane,,I soooo enjoy reading your material. Now go make someone elses day.! From me in Nova Scotia,,patsi.



    March 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    • Hi Patsi. I’m glad you like my work. Keep writing! And you will win those Grosbeaks over. Jane


      jane tims

      March 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm

  7. Very nice!



    March 2, 2012 at 11:34 am

  8. A sparrow dipped in raspberry juice – I love it!
    I can see the “sullen brow/blunt beak” of your poem in your lovely drawing…


    Barbara Rodgers

    March 2, 2012 at 10:58 am

    • Hi Barbara. Thanks. I am glad you see links between the poem and the drawing. Jane


      jane tims

      March 2, 2012 at 8:18 pm

  9. A lovely sketch 🙂



    March 2, 2012 at 6:43 am

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