Birds of Seabrook Island

COAST BIRDS
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WORLD BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Brambling
 
 

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  Order Passeriformes
   Suborder Passeres - Oscines (Song Birds)
      Parvorder Passerida (Superfamily Passeroidea)
         Nine-primaried Oscines
            Family Fringillidae - Finches
               Subfamily Fringillinae - Old World Finches

  Passerines are generally smaller than non-passerines. They have a perching foot with three toes directed forward and the one backward with locking tendons to facilitate perching when their tendons are flexed. All passerines scratch by bringing the foot over the wing. Incubation ranges from 11 -21 days. Young hatch blind with little or no down and spend 10-15 days or so in the nest - development is rapid and parents provide care beyond fledging.
Oscines are passerines with complex syringeal musculature used to produce varied vocalizations. 
Passeroids include the Nine-primaried Oscines, pipits, Old World sparrows, and weavers.
Nine-primaried Oscines include New World warblers, icterids (New World blackbirds), emberizines (buntings), tanagers, cardinalines (cardinals), and fringillines (finches).
Icterids are small to medium-sized nine-primaried oscines of the New World. They have a stout and straight bill, often thrust into the food source, then opened. Some are fruit eaters while others forage on the ground. Their predominant plumage color is usually black and they have strong legs and feet. They form mixed species flocks in winter and many species are social - some nesting in colonies. 
Fringillids are "finches" - arboreal, seed-eating birds, absent only from the Australian region. They are mostly small, nine-primaried songbirds. Most species are sociable. They are largely vegetarians - many feed on vegetable matter even when insects are abundant and some feed their young a regurgitated mash that is largely seeds. Some even time their breeding by the availability of food. Many forage in flocks and are generally arboreal rather than ground-feeding. Some finches are irruptive - they tend to remain in the north unless food becomes constrained. They may then flock to our feeders in numbers.
Old World Finches include three species. The Chaffinch, Fringilla coelobs (Wiki), is a small fringilline finch with double white wing bars, white outer tail feathers, and a greenish rump. The male has reddish underparts and a gray cap – the female is drabber and greener. Chaffinches are found throughout Europe, extending to western Asia, northwestern Africa, and the Canary Islands. On Tenerife and Grand Canary it coexists with the endemic Blue Chaffinch. F. teydea (Wiki). The Brambling, F. montifringilla (Wiki), is widespread in the forests of northern Europe and Asia, migrating to southern Europe, north Africa, Pakistan, India, China, and Japan with strays to Alaska. They prefer coniferous or birch woodland. They form large flocks outside the breeding season, especially after a good beech crop. They eat seeds but feed their young insects. It is similar to the Chaffinch but has a pale rump
 
Finches
 
     
  Brambling, Fringilla montifringilla
 
     Wiki     EoL
        FALL - WINTER - Accidental
            OPEN WOODS
 
 
   The Brambling is an Old World fringilline species that appears erratically in various parts of North America. The adult male has an orange breast and shoulder with a black head and back. The belly is white. In flight, the scapulars are orange and the rump is white. Non-breeding males and females are duller with a gray head but still with orange on the breast and scapulars. Their song is a wheezy or rattling nasal trill. 
 
       
  NOTES:
   Avendex: No record.
   Potter: Casual in fall and winter in Canada and the northern US. One was videotaped in Brevard, NC in October 1998.
  ●  Hypothetical. No South Carolina records.
 
 
"FINCHES"

   Thanks to a complicated history of naming and evolutionary convergence, the term “finch” does not convey much information. Among the “types” or groups found in or related to the Family Fringillidae, it is useful to talk about specific groups:
   Fringillines – Old World Finches - the Brambling and Chaffinch
   Carduelines – New World cardueline finches such as goldfinches, siskins, crossbills, etc., irruptive Northern Hemisphere species
   The estrildines or estrildine finches are passerids, not fringillids, but really fit our concept of “finch” as well… They are the pet store "finch."
       
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