Monday, October 13, 2014

House Finch

The house finch has a square-tipped brown tail, is brown or dull-brown on the back with some shading into gray on the wing feathers. The breast and belly may be streaked and the flanks usually are. Adult males have heads, necks and shoulders that are reddish which sometimes extends to the belly and down the back. The coloration of the male varies by the season and comes from the berries and fruits in its diet. Adult females have brown upperparts and streaked underparts. 
Adult male house finch showing red on head, breast, belly and back and streaking.
Front view of male.
View less impacted by sun in background. 
They were originally found in Mexico and the southwestern U.S. In the 1940s they were introduced in New York City illegally and the vendors let them go to avoid prosecution. They spread out from there and are now found across the U.S. displacing the native purple finch. 

We had a house finch nest on our front door a number of years ago and got some pictures of the babies as they developed and eventually left the nest. My pictures of the adult male are poor.
Young house finches in the nest sport what look like bushy eye-brows and wild looking corners of their mouths.

As they mature, the bright yellow beak and corner pieces disappear and the "eye-brows" become less unruly.
Only three remain - one has flown away.
Only one remains. This last one actually flew away shortly after I took the picture.


  1. From personal experience I know having baby birds nest on the front door wreath is a lot of fun, and that the mess they leave behind for you to clean up is not a lot of fun.

  2. We still need to repaint that front door, but I think it was worth it. I did have to toss the wreath.