Description 5 - 6" Most adult males bright red on crown, breast, and rump.
There is considerable color variation among males, from pale yellow, to orange with
bright red, this being the most common. Many but not all males reach mature
plumage in their first year. The variation in color is related to diet.
Female has plain, unstriped head and heavy streaking on light underside.
Habitat House Finches are native to open and desert habitats, but have expanded
their range, naturally and through introductions, and now can be found in almost any
kind of human-altered habitat. They prefer edge habitat and are absent from dense
Diet The vast majority of the House Finch's diet is vegetable matter--seeds, buds,
berries, and nectar. They feed their young regurgitated seeds. They eat a few small
insects, especially aphids, but are primarily seed- and fruit-eaters at all times of the
Nesting House Finches are monogamous, and pairs tend to form while the birds
are in their winter flocks. Some pairs may stay together year round. A tightly woven,
compact nest is set in a bush, thicket, natural cavity, or on a building.
The female incubates 4 to 5 bluish, lightly streaked or spotted eggs, while the male
brings her food. The female broods the young for the first few days after they hatch,
and the male continues to bring food.
The female then joins the male in bringing food to the young. The young leave the nest
after 12 to 15 days and may be fed by the male for about two more weeks, while the
female starts a second clutch. Pairs may raise three or more broods each season.
Range Resident throughout West, from southern Canada to southern Mexico, and
east to Nebraska. Introduced and now widespread in eastern North America.
Throughout their range, many House Finch populations migrate, either short
distances latitudinally or altitudinally.
Voice A chirp call like that of a young House Sparrow. The song is an extensive
series of warbling notes ending in a zeee, canary-like but without the musical trills
and rolls. Sings from a high tree, antenna, or similar post for prolonged periods.
Discussion House Finches are omnivorous, gleaning insect pests and, in winter,
grass and weed seeds. Garden-bred birds join large field flocks during the fall, often
feeding in farmers' fields, and may become agricultural pests.
It's "House Finch Headquarters" in the pine tree
above the feeder. These permanent residents
can be heard chirping and singing to each
other from tree to tree. That is, when they're
not "parked" in the feeder, happily splitting and
spitting seed shells.