“Now then, as I was saying” the finch continued, despite my attempts to stop him and get a question in. Finches can be quite the talkers, that’s for sure, and once they get going it is exceptionally difficult, if not absolutely impossible, to say anything at all. “You have to find the best ocotillo flower to eat. Not just any old ocotillo will do, and you need to make sure that it is full bloom. Now here, in southern Arizona, there’s a lot of these so you have a good selection. Best to fly around, looking carefully at each one. Be choosy! You don’t want to waste your time eating just any one! It’s the red in the flowers that makes your breast red, so you need the brightest ones!”
Whew. I was breathless just listening to him. I was pretty sure that the flowers didn’t have much to do with making his breast red, though, and had the temerity to actually try and question him. “Um, are you sure…” was about all that I managed to interject before he carried right on.
“Yes, red makes red, any good bird knows that. If I ate blueberries, for instance, you would think that I was just an ordinary bluebird, wouldn’t you? That’s why I eat only red flowers, and that’s why you should, too, if you know what’s good for you.” With that, he flew off with his flower and I could finally breathe again.