Looking Out

A male house finch rests on a wire several feet above a nest where a female is guarding eggs in Ada recently.

Randy Mitchell
The Ada News

 

This week’s profile is for the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus).

House finches are easily attracted to feeders and its song is a melodic, whistling warble. It takes a close eye to distinguish the house finch from the very similar purple finch. House finches have a more slender build, an upper bill that curves down and is more red than the purple finch, which is more cranberry/purple in color.

The female house finch is similar to the male, but lacks the red. House finches nest in Pontotoc County whereas the purple finch does not. House finches are attracted to house and tube-style feeders and enjoy black oil sunflower seed, thistle seed  (Nyjer), and millet.

They can be found in many different habitats from open woodlands to residential areas such as parks. The house finch was once found only in western North America, but has spread to cover most of the lower 48 United States. In winter, house finches gather in medium to large flocks, but stay in pairs during the nesting season, unless visiting feeders.

I took the above photo of a male house finch just above the family nest in a tree in Ada. He and his mate are raising a brood of four. It is very enjoyable to hear this bird’s “chirple” and watch it’s busy, bouncy flight.

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