Lawrence's Goldfinches in Escondido

Tracy Henchbarger

A flock of ten mixed males, females and juveniles.  

On the corner of West Via Rancho Parkway and Purer Road - a cut down avocado orchard that is now a large field. As you are looking at the field from Purer Road, there is a bare tree to the far left, close to the house at 3195 Purer. For the past few days, I've seen the finches there in the morning on my walk from 8-9 a.m. and in the evening about 5 p.m. They are backlit and harder to see in the evening. They have also been feeding on my deck in the morning, which is further up Purer on Vista de la Cresta - so if you don't see them in the tree you can text or call me at 619-417-3477 to see if they are at my house.  

I verified the ID by sending photos to Phil Unitt (SD Natural History Museum). He sent me back some interesting information about them: "Lawrence's Goldfinch is a very interesting bird. Essentially endemic to California and the NW corner of Baja California. Notably nomadic. An accomplished mimic--the song often consists largely of the imitated calls of other birds, repeated almost too fast for the human ear to absorb, connected with its own tinkling call note. And a fire follower, specialized for feeding on the seeds of wildflowers of the family Boraginaceae that proliferate after a wildfire. The ideal time and place to see them is in the spring after a wet winter in an area that burned the preceding fall.


Tracy Henchbarger
Lake Hodges, Escondido, CA 92029