Before I came to this area I knew nothing about these birds. They are actually part of the Cardinal family. This is the one small bird I do work to photograph.
These fairly common finches breed in the coastal Southeast and in the south-central U.S., where they often come to feeders. They are often caught and sold illegally as cage birds, particularly in Mexico and the Caribbean, a practice that puts pressure on their breeding populations.
After you have seen one male you always look around to see another. Stunning birds.
And as to be expected, they are shy.
The small bird photographers will wait by sunflower fields for them. That is a spectacular image. I have never photographed one on a sunflower.