Although I see and photograph Cassin’s Finches in Utah I seem to have the best luck with them in southwestern Montana and in Clark County, Idaho. Maybe that is because I am in habitats they prefer more often in those areas than when I am here in the Salt Lake Valley. In Utah I am usually in the desert or marshes surrounding the Great Salt Lake and during the breeding season Cassin’s Finches prefer mature forests of pines, firs and spruce although some breed in sagebrush steppes that include junipers. Whatever the reason, I enjoy seeing and photographing these finches any where I find them, especially the males who look like they have been dipped in raspberries.
When I spotted this male Cassin’s Finch on a conifer in the Targhee National Forest in Clark County, Idaho early this month he was calling softly and in the distance I could hear more finches but I put my focus entirely on him because he was the closest and because I liked the way he perched high up on the conifer. There were budding Aspens and other conifers in the distance which gave me a lovely green background against his rosy, pink and raspberry coloring.
At times the male Cassin’s Finch looked like he was on alert but I can’t be sure why, it might have been because of the other finches nearby or that he was keeping an eye out for predators in the sky.
I like to include songs and calls when I can of my subjects and found this recording.
(This recording has Pinyon Jay and Western Tanager calls in the background.)
Male Cassin’s Finches often mimic the calls and songs of other birds species and add them to their own songs.
Life is good.