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Not my pic--Purple Finch vs. House Finch

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Feb 2021 Baldwin co. AL

I would have called this a House Finch b/c of so much brown on the face and the curved culmen, although he does have a lot of red on the back, short tail, and only faint streaking.  Can someone help me with the specific features on this photo that determine this bird is a Purple Finch?



Edited by floraphile
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Just now, MichaelLong said:

looks good for purp for me

I posted this b/c still have trouble with differentiating these, so wanted to get some insight on what field marks in this pic are most telling. The short, strongly notched tail?  The lack of streaking?   All of the above taken together?   I am at the point where I am hesitant to ID one myself.   



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1 hour ago, floraphile said:

insight on what field marks in this pic are most telling

The two species have very different shapes, structures. PUFI is a large-headed bird that usually shows a more-or-less strong peak. It's also a very chesty bird -- a body-builder compared to HOFI's long-distance runner's body type. PUFI has a shortish, strongly notched tail, compared to HOFI's long, somewhat narrow, and square- or round-ended tail. I never have trouble differentiating the two in the field. The problems come when one has a single photo with the subject in an odd posture or the photo presents a weird angle.

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