House Finch

House Finch. Photo by Kelly Adams

Category
Birds

Description

This bird is the size of a sparrow, with a square tail, streaked-brown upper parts and white sides heavily streaked with grayish-brown. Males have a brown cap and brown wings with a bright red breast, throat, forehead and eyebrows. Females have a brown-streaked breast and throat with no facial markings. House finches may be confused with the purple finch, which has a notched tail. Also, the red coloration on the male purple finch extends beyond the head onto the wings and sides. The female purple finch has a distinct white eyebrow and white “mustache.” The female purple finch also has a white breast and belly with several short, thick, contrasting dark streaks.

Size

Approximately 5.1 to 5.5 inches in length. Wingspan of 7.9 to 9.8 inches.

Habitat

These birds can be found in cities, towns, and agricultural areas. This is a recent addition to Oklahoma’s bird community; it has been documented in most of the state since the mid-1980s.

Life History

At feeders, house finches eat black-oil sunflower seeds, thistle and millet. Away from feeders, they search vegetation and the ground for seeds, berries, buds and some flower parts.

Wildlife Watching Tips

These birds usually feed in small flocks. They prefer hanging feeders and will perch and eat until full or pushed off by other waiting bird species.  

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