It generally doesn't overlap with the Purple Finch, which is fortunate because the two are remarkably similar. Female Purple Finches have a well-defined white mark above each eye and are more crisply patterned. One last caveat: In the Interior West, the Cassin’s Finch—a third look-alike—is also thrown into the mix. So how can we tell them apart? More than 800 North American birds at your fingertips—all for free. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. As the name implies ("haemo" means "blood" in Greek), various shades of red are characteristic plumage colors of this group. House finches are a classic red or red-orange like a ripe strawberry, while purple finches are more of a dark pink or rosy hue similar to a raspberry or red wine. Photo: Dick Dickinson/Audubon Photography Awards. She has over 16 years experience writing about wild birds for magazines and websites. Spread the word. So as long as you have a feeder, you'll have plenty of opportunities to study up. Pumpkin Bird Feeder Makes a Happy Harvest For Birds, To Help Birds This Winter, Go Easy on Fall Yard Work, Learn to Identify Five Owls by Their Calls, How to Tell a Hairy Woodpecker From a Downy Woodpecker, How to Predict Which Canadian Birds Will Crash Your Feeders This Winter, Help power unparalleled conservation work for birds across the Americas, Stay informed on important news about birds and their habitats, Receive reduced or free admission across our network of centers and sanctuaries, Access a free guide of more than 800 species of North American birds, Discover the impacts of climate change on birds and their habitats, Learn more about the birds you love through audio clips, stunning photography, and in-depth text. Click or tap on the dots on the photos and let them guide you. The House Finch is a recent introduction from western into eastern North America (and Hawaii), but it has received a warmer reception than other arrivals like the European Starling and House Sparrow. As always, structure and behavior are also useful. Photo: “The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of Audubon. Legal Notices Privacy Policy Contact Us. National Audubon Society Even on the coldest days, they will stick around, brightening up the yard with animated flashes of color. Broad-Tailed Hummingbird or Ruby-Throated Hummingbird? We protect birds and the places they need. It's probably one of these eight hungry visitors. First, consult a map. Let us send you the latest in bird and conservation news. Melissa Mayntz has been a birder and wild bird enthusiast for 30+ years. The female finches are more problematic. Common Rosefinch: Small, stocky finch, red upperparts and breast, faintly streaked brown back, white underparts. Bald Eagle. Gradually, it will become easier to identify these finches—but don’t get overconfident. This can be easy if the finches are attracted to bird feeders, giving birders good opportunities to watch them more closely. Photo: Howard Arndt/Audubon Photography Awards, Great Egret. Speak out against the Yazoo Backwater Pumps which would drain 200,000 acres of crucial bird habitat. Red finches can be a welcome addition to bird feeders, but identifying house finches and purple finches can be a challenge even for experienced birders. Male are distinctive with a red head, breast, and rump, brown eye-mask, and white belly. When watching these brown and red finches, studying details of their appearance and behavior can help birders determine which bird is which. Audubon protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Photo: Michele Black/Audubon Photography Awards; Right: Purple Finch. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, Rosy red or pink red, more overall red color, Blurry streaking, streaked undertail coverts, Sharper streaks (females), white undertail coverts, White wing bars, short primary projection, Boreal Canada in summer, eastern and central U.S. in winter, year-round on Pacific coast, Great Lakes, northeast. It’s the least you can do. (Cassin’s has a longer, straighter beak and a noticeable eye ring.) They are found throughout the North American continent. Overwhelmed and Understaffed, Our National Wildlife Refuges Need Help. Bill is dark gray and stout. That’s partly due to the cheerful red head and breast of males, and to the bird’s long, twittering song, which can now be heard in most of the neighborhoods of the continent. A few more notes: Color is helpful, but it varies among individuals, so use caution.