House finches

house finch

A couple of male house finches. Often confused with purple finches, but house finches are streaky brown on their flanks and purple finches are not.

We don’t see many at our feeders, but there are many out there…

The House Finch was originally a bird of the western United States and Mexico. 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 total House Finch population across North America is staggering. Scientists estimate between 267 million and 1.4 billion individuals.

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House finches plus photobombing chickadees.

With their finchy beaks they crack open the sunflower shells to eat their favorite feeder food. They do not flit, but rather… sit.

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