House Finch

Fast Facts:

  • Common Name:
    House Finch
  • Scientific Name:
    Haemorhous mexicanus
  • Diet: Vegetarian
  • Size: 6 inches long
  • Weight: Under an ounce

Description:

Adult house finches have feathers that are mostly light brown on their backs with darker gray coloring into the wings and striped/streaked feathers on their stomachs and chests. Typically, males will have a yellow-to-red coloring on their shoulders into their heads, thanks to the fruits in their regular diet.


Habitat and Migration

These natives to Mexico and the southwest United States were first introduced to New York in the 1940s. Illegally sold as “Hollywood Finches,” new owners were under pressure from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and in order to avoid prosecution, released the house finches into the wild. Now naturalized, house finches are found in all parts of the contiguous United States, Hawaii, much of Mexico, and in southern Canada. While most house finches reside in their homes year-round, some are known to migrate south for winter.

Social Behavior

Rarely are house finches seen alone, as they’re known to be incredibly social and are often seen in flocks made up of several hundred birds. Their courtship behavior includes the male finch touching bills with the female and even presenting her with food. House finches have been known to nest in hanging plants, crevices in buildings, and any areas more or less with a bowl shape.

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