Bird Collective x FiRN
MARCH 16, 2021
It's been a great winter for finches—and the birders who watch them. To commemorate this winter's "superflight" of northern finches out of the boreal forest and into our backyards, we've partnered with the Finch Research Network, or FiRN, to create this special collection. Illustrated by Maine artist Jada Fitch, it captures three of our favorite finches: the Evening Grosbeak, Red Crossbill, and Common Redpoll.
FiRN is dedicated to the study and conservation of finches and their habitats globally. Its researchers called this season's irruption of finches one of the biggest in recent history, as a whole roster of species headed southbound beginning last fall—as far as south as the Florida Panhandle in the case of a pair of Evening Grosbeaks, and even Bermuda for Pine Siskins. "There's not enough food to support them, so they’re just spilling out of the boreal forest,” Matt Young, FiRN's founder, told Audubon in December.
Young, who spent more than 15 years at Cornell's Lab of Ornithology, launched FiRN last year with the goal of creating a community and network of people interested in observing and studying finches. Their flagship project is focused on creating a long-term home for Red Crossbill research, but they are also raising money to fund student research projects on Evening Grosbeaks and Rosy-Finches.
FiRN is also the new home of the Winter Finch Forecast, the annual prediction of finch movements written by Ron Pittaway for many years and recently taken over by Tyler Hoar. Hoar's forecast last September raised birders' hopes of a special year—and the finches delivered.
We hope you got to see some of this incredible show. With this collection, we'll donate 30% of the profits to the Finch Research Network as it works to grow our understanding of these amazing and often-elusive northern birds.