Figure 1 shows a purple finch – Haemorhous purpureus, that visited my patio this morning. As you can see he was chirping when I took this image. Finches always remind me of Darwin and his finches – of how the shape of the bill specializes their food supply and which was instrumental in defining the Theory of Evolution. Like all birds they wear the feet of their dinosaur ancestors. They are truly birds for biologists. Some years ago a pair of these finches built a nest in a hanging flower basket on our front porch. It was a tricky watering job from then on, but then one morning I went out to water the flowers and saw a little egg crashed onto the porch. Something had climbed up into the basket and stolen the eggs. These birds lay eggs only once a year; so this was a great tragedy for this beautiful pair.
And beautiful they are, with their subtle raspberry colored throats and faces. They live in Massachusetts all year round and with the cardinals, bluebirds, and woodpeckers bring color into a dreary winter.
Canon T2i with EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens at 400 mm, ISO 1600, Aperture Priority AE Mode, 1/2000 th sec at f/7.1 with -1 exposure compensation.