The male Purple Finch is about 6 inches in length and has a raspberry or wine colored upperpart, breast and flanks. The birds colors are brightest in summer. The head of this bird is covered with red with little or no brown streaking on breast or flanks.
The female has a well defined pattern on the face, broad white eyebrow, brown eyeline, and white cheek. Her underparts have broad, blurry, brown streaking with no streaking on undertail coverts.
The immature birds, both male and female, look like the adult female.
During the mating season the maleswill hop and sing in the presence of a female bird. He may hop as high as 6 to 12 inches with chest puffed out and tail cocked.
Although he may bring a small amount of nesting materials to the nest site, it's the female finch that actually selects and builds the nest.
Once the female selects the nesting site, she builds the nest. The shallow cup nest is made of twigs, grasses, rootlets, and string lined with animal fur, horsehair, moss and rootlets.
The nest is placed in the crotch of a tree, usually a conifer, about 5 to 60 feet above ground.
The female will lay and incubate 3 to 6 eggs that are light green-blue with dark marks. Once incubation begins, she rarely leaves the nest.
The male will feed the female regurgitated seeds. The incubation time will be about 13 days. The young will leave the nest about 14 days after hatching.
Feeding Habits/What Purple Finch Eat
In the wild these birds forage both on the ground and above in foliage for seeds and buds of trees, weeds, berries, and insects.
Putting out a birdfeeder with black-oil sunflower seed will almost assure you of attracting them if in the area.
As anyone who feeds birds can tell you, this bird can go through a lot of seed. Often taking control of a feeder for hours.