New neighbors

It’s been raining on and off for the past coupe of days now, and it’s very much appreciated.  Things are starting to bud and bloom all over the place and this rain is only going to spur that along.  Today’s rain has been mostly light.  It’s been constant for the past couple of hours, sometimes drizzly and sometimes heavy.  It’s during those heavy bouts that my new neighbors come back.  I’d seen them around the local bushes, but in the past two days, a pair of House Finches has moved onto the little ledge above my deck.  I can sit in the house and watch them hang out there.  They crack me up, because the male always keeps an eye on things happening off the deck, but to do that, he’s got to bend all the way down to look over and around the ledge.  It’s not a very comfortable looking position for him.

I’ve been keeping half an eye on these birds this weekend and they are nearly always together.   It’s either love or co-dependency.  I haven’t really taken the time to psychoanalyze them just yet, though.  Whether they’re a new couple or not, is hard to say, too.  In a lot of birds, pair bonds only last for a single breeding season- so they’ll be a happy couple until the kids fly off and then they’re done.  New couples form every year.  There is some evidence that House Finches may maintain pair bonds from year to year, though.  At least that may be true for non-migratory populations.

Hodge, P.N.  1990.  Maintenance of pair bonds in the House Finch.  Condor 92:  1066-1067

There’s no way for me to tell if this couple is of the Ralph and Alice or the Britney and <insert male name> variety, but either way, they’re cute and attentive.


About thomasbiology

I'm an Associate Professor of Biology at Queens University of Charlotte with a background in animal behavior with an emphasis in bird song. I've got two secret goals with this blog (well, since I'm sharing them, they're not so secret): 1. To encourage people to look at the natural world around them- not just as a hiking destination, but to notice all the little things moving around them all the time; and 2. To show some of the science that relates to these little things moving around. There's some really fascinating research out there that so few people get to see.
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