Cassin’s Finch with His Head Tilted

/, Birds, Cassin's Finches, Centennial Valley, Montana/Cassin’s Finch with His Head Tilted

Male Cassin's Finch with his head tiltedMale Cassin’s Finch with his head tilted – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I photographed quite a few smaller songbirds while I was up in Idaho and Montana last week and I didn’t think I was going to have an opportunity to take images of any Cassin’s Finches because they all seemed so skittish. I’d see them and then they were gone before I could even get my lens on them.

But while photographing a delightful female Mountain Bluebird feeding one of her chicks at the edge of a road I caught some movement on my left side with my peripheral vision and when I looked over I saw a male Cassin’s Finch perched on a fence post. I quickly swung my camera in his direction figuring he would be gone before I could lock onto him but I was pleasantly surprised when he hung around long enough for me to take a series of 22 images of him.

I especially liked this photo of the Cassin’s Finch with his head tilted and with him looking at something nearby rather than looking directly towards me.

I didn’t have the good fortune to photograph another Cassin’s Finch on my trip so I am glad I took the time to take photos of this one looking around his home in the Centennial Valley of Montana.

Life is good. Birds are great.


I have been having some server issues that started to be a big problem while I was up in Idaho and Montana and until I can get those issues resolved I am limiting myself to one photo per post because posting more than one is causing a huge strain on the resources of my server. Readers may have noticed slow loading times and for that I apologize.


  1. Elephants Child July 21, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Yet another subtle charmer. Thank you as always.

  2. Patty Chadwick July 21, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Will be interested in answer to April’s comment and question…iinteresting pose, pretty bird…like raspberry juice coloring.

  3. April Olson July 21, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Both Cassin’s and House finches get their coloring from diet. In your searching about bird behavior have you found an article on what they eat for the red coloring?

    Have you been in contact with the server? They have probably lost the dedicated machine you are on, perhaps they don’t know it is out, your traffic is rerouting and slower.

    • Mia McPherson July 21, 2017 at 10:07 am

      April, I run the server, I have to get a huge site moved from my server because it is stressing the resources, plus I need to do work on one database as soon as that happens. It isn’t out but it sure slows down a lot at times. A few times my site has gone down for a couple of minutes at a time.

  4. July 21, 2017 at 8:36 am

    So glad to see photos of Cassin’s Finch. Trips to the West always turn up Cassin’s Finch, but then there are a lot of House Finches and the guides can be misleading. The color in your photos is more Purple Finchish. Beautiful little crest; nice clear division of red and light on the breast. Thanks!

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