Fun Facts

  • You can entice House Finches to nest in your yard by putting up a birdhouse! An entrance hole of 1.5 inches diameter works best.
  • Likewise, attract this species to your bird feeder by offering seeds like black oil sunflower, hulled sunflower, and (to a lesser extent) safflower and nyjer.
  • The House Finch can be told apart from its similar cousin the Purple Finch by the male's more brick-red, rather than raspberry-red, coloration. Separating females requires careful study.
  • Some male House Finches exhibit pale yellow breast and crown feathers instead of the normal red. This is due to poor nutrition and/or parasites.

Bird of the Month

March 2012

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)


Photo © Bill Hill

One of our most cheerful songsters, the House Finch is common year-round in the Monterey area. These birds frequent a wide variety of habitats, and have adapted well to more urban environments (hence the name "House Finch"). This species is among the most abundant in Monterey County, with a population estimated at 40,000­­ to 50,000 breeding pairs.
Much to the delight of female finches—not to mention birdsong lovers—male House Finches start singing in February or March. Mated pairs will actually learn the same song, allowing couples to identify one another. Some birds nest as early as mid-March, but most breeding takes place in April and May, with activity lingering through July. Both parents take turn feeding the young.