The House Finch Habits

Initially the House Finch was a bird of the west, but because of its rosy breast and very melodic song, people wanted to own one.

In order to supply demand, Pet stores in the eastern part of the US were importing this small bird with a red head. Originally it was a California native species.

Once a crack down on this illegal trade went into effect, shop owners were quick to release the birds into the wild.

male house finch

Image of Male House Finch

Fortunately for the birds and many of us, the House Finch adapted particular well and now are a common bird in nearly every state.

House Finch Song Call

Description What They Look Like

Brown Bird With Red Head

The male House Finch has a length of about 5 1/2 inches, with red on the head, upper breast and flanks. In some regions the color red may be replaced with yellow or orange.

This difference in coloration is most likely due to the differences in regional diets. Many people think they are seeing a Red-headed Sparrow Bird.

While females look similar to sparrows there is no such thing as a Red Headed Sparrow or Red Headed Wren.

The female has a uniformly brown-streaked head with broad brown streaking on the breast and belly. The under tail coverts are usually unstreaked.

Mating Habits

Do House Finches Mate For Life

The term "mate for life" is a bit of a stretch with House Finches even though some pairs stay together through winter and breed again the following season.

Many find new mates each breeding season. Interesting to note that pairs that stay together nest a little earlier than those that don't stay together.

Courtship Behavior

During courtship, females solict food from prospective mates. The males either mock feed or actually regurgitate food in the female's mouth. As with many songbirds, House Finches are monogamous.

One interesting detail is that the males will defend the female they're mated with and not be overly protective with defending territory. Most other birds try do defend both mate and territory.

Nesting Habits What Nest Looks Like

The image below shows what a House Finch nest looks like with one egg inside.

house finch nest with one light blue slightly speckled egg

Image of House Finch Nest and Egg

Several nest may be built before the actual nest where young will be raised is selected.

The breeding season for House Finches can begin in March and go into August depending on success of broods.

Although bird watchers may see the male with nesting material, the female builds the actual nest.

The nest is cup shaped and made of twigs, grasses, and leaves.

These finches will nest in a variety of artificial and natural cavites such as old woodpecker holes, hanging plants and door wreaths, and occasionally birdhouses.

The nest is located 5 to 10 feet above ground.

The female lays 2 to 6 bluish eggs that are finely speckling. Incubation, sometimes referred to as gestation period, is done by the female for 12 to 14 days.

The young will leave the nest in about 11 to 19 days after hatching.

female house finch

Image of Female House Finch

During incubation and for about five days after the young have hatched, the male will feed the female on the nest. He does this by regurgitating seed into the females beak.

The female regurgitates the food to the nestlings.

After the young have fledged, the parents continue to feed the young. The female may find a new mate and raise another brood while the male continues to feed the young.

Some females will begin a second nest just before the first clutch fledges.

House finches have been known to raise more than two broods in a season but the average is two.

Feeding Habits - What is the Best Seed for wild House Finches to Eat

Unlike many other birds who switch their eating habits in spring and summer, Finches are vegetarians all year.

House Finches Feeding Young

Their diet consist of seeds, fruit, buds, and weed seeds. Even during the breeding season these birds regurgitate seeds to their young.

You Can Attract More Birds
By Keeping Squirrels Off Feeders?
Learn More!
squirrel proof feeders

House Finches forage both on the ground and in trees. Bird watchers can easily attract this bird to feeders by offering Black-oil Sunflower, safflower, and nyjer seeds.

A Squirrel Proof feeder is recommended for sunflower seed as squirrels will make off with the seed before the birds have a chance to eat. Check out some of the feeders below for offering nyjer seed.

A Heated Birdbath can be a valuable resorce during winter for all your feeder birds.

Interesting Note

In Mexico, House Finches are still legally caught and sold as caged birds.

spiral finch feeder
Bird Quest Spiral Finch
Giant Finch Flocker
Giant Finch Flocker
house finch feeder with tray
Nyjer Feeder w/Tray
upside down Goldfinch Feeder
Upside Down Nyjer Feeder

See More Videos Here

Check Out the Finch Cam

Perfect Gift Idea - Heated Bird Baths
heated bird bath pedestal
Heated Pedestal Baths

heated bird bath with dripper
Heated Ground Bath
heated bird bath deck mounted
Heated Deck Mounted

heated birdbath deck mounted
Scallaped Deck Mounted

pioneer woman magazine
good housekeeping magazine
womans day magazine