House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)

About the Bird

Seen/Heard at
Decorah

Diet
House Finches are ground foragers, although they will come to bird feeders. They eat almost exclusively plant materials, including seeds, buds, and fruit. While they don’t display the seasonal flexibility in diet that red-bellied woodpeckers or American robins do, they adapt to local conditions, eating whatever plant foods are available.

Nesting
House Finches breed from late March through early August. Females use stems, leaves, rootlets, twigs, feathers, and string to build cup nests, which they line with soft materials, including more grass, rootlets, and hair. They lay two to six pale blue finely speckled eggs per clutch and produce up to six broods per year. Females incubate eggs for 13-14 days and young stay in the nest for 12-19 days before fledging. Males and females care for young.

Citations
Bird Range Maps of North America
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003.
Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA. Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy – Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International – CABS, World Wildlife Fund – US, and Environment Canada – WILDSPACE.
Web Link: http://bit.ly/2ynPQ5I
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology Birds of North America: https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/houfin/introduction


General Description
Adult males have red faces, cheeks, upper breasts, and rumps, with streaky brown to brownish-grey backs, bellies and tails. Females are brown to brownish-grey, with blurry streaks on their underparts. They lack the bright red marking of males, although some may have indistinct brown markings on their faces.

Migration
House Finches can be found in the Decorah area year-round, although some wintering finches could be migrants from colder northern areas.

Measurements
Length
5.1-5.5 in/13-14 cm
Wingspan
7.9-9.8 in/20-25 cm
Weight
0.6-0.9 oz/16-27 g
Wing Design
Elliptical. Optimized for bursts of fast, tightly controlled flight. Excellent at taking off quickly, maneuvering through branches, and avoiding predators.

Range Map

Range Map