Takes sharp eye to distinguish house finch from look-alikes
I am sending in this photo of a house finch in order to help amateur
birdwatchers to identify these common finches from two other look-alikes
even though it is next to impossible to tell the females apart.
The male house finch can best be identified by the red which extends farther down the breast than either the Cassin’s finch or the purple finch (which is not actually purple).
Also the house finch has black stripes on the sides and bottom of their red breasts. Regardless, it takes a keen eye to tell these finches apart at first glance.
The house finch is a native Western bird, which like many species of birds and animals, has adapted to humans by hanging around farms, ranches and even cities. Their nesting habits vary greatly but they prefer buildings, bird houses or even old nests of other birds. They are rarely found where water is scarce, so if you see them in dry desert country, you can be sure a spring or stock water tank is nearby.
The males have a pleasant song that is similar to a canary and they tend to sing in early morning, so if you get up too late, you will miss hearing the house finch’s full-throated song.
The young nestlings are fed almost entirely vegetable matter made up of enormous amounts of weed seeds. But the adults soon learn to take advantage of backyard bird feeders, like the one in the picture dining on sunflower seeds.