How House Finches moved East

Male House FinchMale House Finch – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

House Finches are fairly common birds throughout the U.S., Mexico and into Central America but they didn’t used to be common in the eastern U.S. Originally they were found in the southwestern states but they were brought to Long Island, NY as caged birds. I’m guessing they were treated something like canaries. In 1940 a small population of them were released from their cages and they spread throughout the east. And so a bird that was once common in the southwest is now common back east too.

Male House Finch coloration can range from deep reds to bright yellows but red is more common that yellows or oranges and the colors are determined by their diet when they are molting. I think the male above falls some where between the reds and yellows and I’d say he is more orange than anything else. I wonder what he was eating when he molted. He was feeding on wild sunflower seeds when I photographed him.

Life is good.



  1. Humming Bird Lover November 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    HI! They have not come to my feeder Yet! It is so cold here they will be here soon! Beautiful photo! Relax and enjoy doing your photo shooting! Keep warm!

  2. Utahbooklover November 19, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Nice detail, like looking through binoculars. Very common here in Brigham City and quite vocal when breeding. Still looking for Cassin’s Finch.

  3. Elephant's Child November 19, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    What a charmer that finch is. And how lucky that for a change a species released out of its natural range thrives and causes no damage.

  4. Andrew Durso November 19, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Yes, growing up in North Carolina we always thought of them as something of an ‘invasive’ species, although now I don’t think they 1) are nearly as common there as they are in Utah and 2) have nearly the detrimental effects that other non-natives do.

  5. SkyHawker4 November 19, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Neither did I know! Thanks Mia!

  6. Ian Holland November 19, 2014 at 7:43 am

    I never knew that! Thanks.

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