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House Finch House Finch

House Finch

Food such as sunflower seeds and water will attract Finches to your yard.

 

House finches were originally a resident of southwestern U.S.  In the 1940s called Hollywood finches they were being sold illegally as pets.  To avoid prosecution venders, and owners released them into the wild and the birds quickly spread across the country. 

Identification and Pictures

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) 5 to 6 inches

House Finches have brown or grayish streaked back, and wings.  The breast is usually streaked with brown and white.  They have two white wing bars and a short thick bill good for cracking seeds.

 

Photos by Keith Lee.  The camera I use is the Canon EOS 40D.

 

Finch femlale
Finch male Males will have pink, red or sometimes yellow on head, necks, shoulders, and rump.  The male's color will vary depending on their present diet.  Females prefer to mate with the reddest male they can find as this indicates he could be a good provider for the nestlings.

Sound of House Finch

Their song is a lengthy cheerful series of notes like "chee-wee" that shifts rapidly from low to high notes, often ending in a nasal "che-urr".  They will call a single sharp "cheep" or "che-urr".  The birds will sing while they are in flight as well as from perches.  Males have a longer song then the female.House finch

House Finch song:
  Click for Sound

  Click for Sound

Preferred Habitat

House finches can be found from southern Canada through the U.S., and Mexico.  They like deserts, orchards, and wooded areas, as well as cities, and residential areas.  They are a common bird at feeders all year long, often mixed in with other birds such as sparrows, or chickadees.

Breeding and Nesting

During courtship is when you will most often here the male's lovely warbling song.  Male finches will bring bits of food to the female during courtship.  He may also feed her during incubation.  Female House finches build a cup shaped nest of twigs, and other vegetation. It can be in areas such as vines on the side of a build, or in a tree cavity.  If you have birdhouses they may nest in them.  The nest will often be use again the next year. 

Eggs

From February through August the female will lay and incubateHouse Finch Egg 2 to 6 smooth, pale bluish-green eggs with black spots on them. There are often two or more broods in a year.  In around 2 weeks the eggs will hatch. The young may be fed by both parents from 11 to 20 days.

Food and Feeding

House finches eat mostly seeds, and berries but, will also eat insects. They forage through vegetation, and on the ground, but are also a common visitor at bird feeders through out the year. They are often mixed in flocks of birds such sparrows, and chickadees that come to feeders with sunflower, and other seeds.

For more on food and feeding click here.
For more on feeders click here.
To learn about other favorite birds click here.

 
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