Fun House Finch Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
House finch facts are fascinating for kids
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.4 Min

Have you been noticing the House Finches that visit your backyard? Let us talk about these birds who have traveled from the Western half of North American to make their homes all over the continent. These small but loud birds are easily found in Urban and Suburban areas. There was a time when their habitat was limited to the arid regions of Mexico and Southwestern United States, including deserts, grassland, chaparral, and other open areas. However, they interestingly spread all over, and it might have been caused by human intervention. They are a part of the cities, and they love to gather around feeders. Mainly a herbivore, these birds may at times gulp down an insect or two. The adult males are known for their bright red plumage present on its head and neck, which may continue till the belly. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, they are of 'Least Concern,' making them a common part of our life. Keep on reading to know more about this interesting bird. Also, check out the articles about the Atlantic puffin and the tawny owl

House Finch Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a House Finch?

A house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) is a bird.

What class of animal does a House Finch belong to?

House finches fall under the class of Aves which is the classification for birds and they belong to the family Fringillidae.

How many House Finches are there in the world?

It is estimated that around  267 million to 1.7 billion House Finches exist in North America. However, their population might be more.

Where does a House Finch live?

House Finches are found extensively throughout North America, especially in the United States. They are known for being the birds that populate the Urban and Suburban areas. In Canada, the house finches are found in more open spaces. The House Finches were once restricted to the 'west' where they lived in more arid conditions. Since the 1940s, they have started to populate the 'east,' and the birds are found all over the country and other countries, and they have the ability to adapt to different habitats. You can even find house finches in the freezing conditions of New York. Originally, the house finch came from Mexico and the Southwestern United States.

What is a House Finch's habitat?

House Finches have grown the ability to adapt to various kinds of habitat. They can easily live in urban and suburban areas. Humans have started to feed them more regularly, giving them an active food source. In their native habitat, house finches used to live in arid deserts, desert grassland, chaparral, and in open coniferous forests below an altitude of 6,000 ft or 1,828 m.

Who do House Finches live with?

House finches are social birds and they can live in flocks that may have hundreds of birds. House finches are notorious for taking over bird feeders and once they spot one they can bring more than 50 house finches along with them.

How long does a House Finch live?

The maximum life expectancy for a house finch is up to 12 years. However, most of them live shorter lives due to the presence of several predators.

How do they reproduce?

House finches have a long breeding season that lasts between the months of February to August. Female house finches are in charge of building the nests, which are mostly present in cavities. Some house finches also use nests that have been abandoned by other birds. House finches are also known for reusing their own nest. The house finches may have two to three broods of one to six eggs present in each brood in a single year. The house finch eggs are usually a pale bluish-green with black spots, and it has a glossy look. The incubation period lasts 12-14 days. The hatchlings are pink in color, and they are covered with a fluffy down. Young house finches mainly feed on dandelion seeds.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List, the conservation status for this bird is of Least Concern, which doesn't make them rare.

House Finch Fun Facts

What do House Finches look like?

House Finch facts are great for bird lovers

House finches look quite similar to their close relative, the purple finches, or even to the house sparrow. The distinct physical difference in the bird species is the presence of red feathers in the neck and head of adult male house finches. The color can also continue to the belly of the finches. The red color mainly depends on the food eaten by the birds. As the color varies between the seasons, it may at times appear more yellowish or orangish depending on the food eaten by the birds. The birds have a square-tipped tail that is brown in color. A female house finch is entirely covered in brown feathers with blurry streaks on its belly. Adult females prefer an adult male house finch with a vibrant red molt. These North American birds have a streaky look all over their body, and they have a very small beak measuring about 1.1 cm.

How cute are they?

House finches are extremely cute because of their small size and the reddish appearance of the adult males.

How do they communicate?

Like other birds, the house finch song is their main way of communication. The bird species is known for producing different kinds of chirps which are often rapid and cheery.

How big is a House Finch?

5  - 6 in (12.5  - 15 cm) is the average size of an adult House Finch. The species have a wingspan of 8 to 10 in (20 to 25cm) and their wing cord length is about  2.8 to 3.3 in (7  to 8.4 cm). If we compare purple finch and house finch then they do share a similar size. The cousins of house finches, the purple finches are able to grow to an average length of 4.7  - 6.3 in (12  - 16 cm).

How fast can a House Finch fly?

No data is found about the average flight speed of a House Flinch. But, the average speed among birds is around 15 - 20 mph or 24 - 32 kph.

How much does a House Finch weigh?

The average weight of species in this family is 0.5  - 1 oz (16 to 27 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the adult male and adult female of the house finch species.

What would you call a baby House Finch?

You will call a baby house finch a nestling.

What do they eat?

House finches are one of the birds that sustains themselves on a herbivorous diet. Their diet mainly includes dandelion seeds, sunflower seeds, nettle seeds, buds, flowers, fruits, and berries. At times they are also known to feed on insects like aphids. If you want to give them food, make sure to buy a house finches feed that will suit their taste.

Are they dangerous?

No, house finches aren't dangerous. But, they are aggressive to other birds when it comes to sharing the feeders.

Would they make a good pet?

You can try to keep a pet house finch; however, they do not enjoy living alone, and they crave to be with their flock. House finches were first introduced to Long Island, New York as the 'Hollywood Finches.' They managed to intrude into the urban centers of North Eastern America as well as Hawaii. Though they may not like to be kept as pets, you can always fill up a bird feeder with sunflower seeds and leave it for them to enjoy. You will find house finches enjoying the good food.

Did you know...

One of the interesting house finch migration facts is that some birds of the North American species have been seen to migrate towards the warmer areas during harsh winters.

The House Finch's mating and birth process

House finches are monogamous in nature, and they may mate for life. They have a unique mating process where the adult male house finch feeds the female house finch as a way to attract her. During courtship, an adult male house finch shows affection by touching the bill of a female. The adult male continues to do it even after the babies have hatched. These North American birds have an elaborate mating process during their breeding season. The female has the responsibility to build the nest, which is high off from the ground. The male adult also behaves as the primary feeder for the nestlings once they are born. A female can lay one to six eggs per brood. They generally lay eggs in the morning hours. The adult male helps the female to take care of the young house finches until they get out of the nest. One of the interesting facts about the House Finch is that the females have a tendency to begin by laying eggs containing female babies as a way to maintain an equal sex ratio.

The symbolism of the House Finch

House finches do not have any distinct symbolism. However, finches of similar species have been long used as a totem for joy, appreciation, positivity, and high energy. They also remind us of the Earth's abundant resources.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the bowerbird and the blue and yellow macaw.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our house finch coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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