House finch

House finch
Carpodacus mexicanus

Photo by John Benson (Wikipedia)

Common name:
house finch (en); peito-rosado-doméstico (pt); roselin familier (fr); carpodaco doméstico (es); hausgimpel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Fringillidae

This species is originates from Mexico, the western United States and southern British Columbia and Alberta in Canada. They were introduced in New York in the 1940s and have since colonized eastern North America as far south as northern Florida and as far north as southern Quebec and Ontario, and east to Minnesota, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

These birds are 12,5-15 cm long and have a wingspan of 20-25 cm. They weigh 16-27 g.

The house finch is mostly found in dry scrublands and grasslands, but also in human-created habitats such as pastures, plantations, arable land and rural gardens. Tey are present from sea level up to an altitude of 3.000 m.

They feed mainly on seeds, buds, fruits and berries, including wild mustard seeds, knotweed, thistle, mulberry, poison oak, cactus, and many other wild species, as well as cultivated plants such as cherries, apricots, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries, blackberries, and figs. They also take a few insects.

House finches breed in March-August. They are monogamous and the female builds the nest, a shallow cup made of fine stems, grasses, leaves, rootlets, thin twigs, string, wool, and feathers, with similar, but finer materials for the lining. It can be placed in a tree, scrub, cactus, rock ledge or building. The female lays 2-6 bluish or greenish-white with fine black and pale purple speckles, which she incubates alone for 13-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 12-19 days after hatching. Each pair can raise up to 3 broods per season.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 21 million individuals. The  population has undergone a large increase of 16% per decade over the last 4 decades.

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