Daily Archives: March 8, 2012

A Question of Purple

Purple Finch on bird feeder

"Purple Finch", mixed media by Kerry McFall

Many thanks to Schmidt’s Garden Center for granting me permission to work from their photographs!  This little seed-cruncher was featured in their most recent online newsletter, and I fell in love with the patterns in his feathers.  Their newsletter always has bright photos and interesting discussion, a pleasant break from a world full of less uplifting news.

I’ve always wondered about who decided to call this bird a Purple Finch.  In my opinion, it’s not purple at all.  It’s pink.  There might be a few purple shadows, but this guy is definitely pink – and yes, I did get carried away just a little with the color intensity, but I’m not striving for reality, just that zing I always get when a flash of color flies past.  The Cornell Lab of Ornithology web site says, “The Purple Finch is the bird that Roger Tory Peterson famously described as a “sparrow dipped in raspberry juice.” ”  Right on!