May 26 2010

A House Finch Couple Becomes Regulars at Our Feeders

Published by at 11:59 am under bird watching,nature

There’s a pleasant House Finch couple that have become regulars at our backyard feeders. They can be seen in the mornings and evenings eating sunflower seed.

 

 

A male and female House Finch. (Photo by Will Elder, NPS via nps.gov)

 

I started noticing the male finch about three weeks ago. Since then, he and his mate have been visiting almost daily.

Year-round residents, the House Finch is a small-bodied, convivial bird that flies in from high perches in surrounding trees to sit and eat seeds on our feeders. The House Finch is a Western United States and Mexican finch and not native, however, it is not invasive like House Sparrows or European Starlings. According to AllAboutBirds.org:

In 1940 a small number of finches were turned loose on Long Island, New York, after failed attempts to sell them as cage birds (“Hollywood finches”). They quickly started breeding and spread across almost all of the eastern United States and southern Canada within the next 50 years.

The House Finch is similar to the Purple Finch, which we also see from time to time. The key to telling them apart is that the House Finch is a brighter red, while the Purple Finch has a darker, richer purple/red coloration that covers more of the chest, belly, wings and back.

 

 

The Purple Finch. Note the darker red hues and that are prevalent on a larger portion of the bird's body. (Photo by Brandon Green via AllAboutBirds.com)

 

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