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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Why do Houses Finches seem to be everywhere?


 

House finches are small, often red-headed birds. Despite their great numbers in Texas, however, this region is not their natural home. They are native to the dry regions of the west. Because of the males’ red coloring, they used to be trapped and sold in the New York area as “Hollywood finches”. Being illegal and not wanting to get caught, the dealers released them around 1940, all in the Long Island area.  The House Finches liked it and adapted quickly! 

Within two decades, the species expanded to the Carolinas. Eventually, Texas. The rest is history. As you can see in the picture, the males are red & gray;  females are gray & black.


 
 Cut down the right tree.  Now is the time to mark those trees that need removing this winter; due to its death, disease or location. Winter is easily the best time; for one, you have far less chance of damaging neighboring trees.

I mark trees with bands of brightly-colored "flagging tape" which is used by surveyors. But you can use anything handy. That way, I'm not afraid of cutting down the wrong tree by mistake. 



Owen Yost, in addition to blogging, is a Landscape Architect emeritus from here, whos worked in north Texas for over 30 years.  He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Society of Landscape Architects, the National BirdFeeding Society, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. He was honored with a Lifetime Achievement award by the Native Plant Society of Texas. His design office is at northwestern68@yahoo.com