When I take pictures of our avian cousins, I’m usually attracted to birds that are interesting in some way. Cute baby geese. Colorful hummingbirds. A lovely egret. A magnificent heron. But what about the blue-collar birds? It’s not their fault that they’re boring. Don’t they deserve pictures too?

You bet. And what’s more ordinary than a finch? So I undertook to photograph one. But precisely because they’re so ordinary, I wanted an extra nice photo and eventually I got this one. And while it’s a nice picture, I have to say that this is one tubby little finch, isn’t it? Irvine must be bursting at the seams with delicious worms. Or whatever it is that finches eat.

UPDATE: Apparently this is a song sparrow, not a finch. How about that? And judging from a few pictures, song sparrows all tend toward the chubby side. This fellow, it turns out, is pretty ordinary.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

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