Description - House Finch
Before 1936, the male house finch was kept in pet stores and sold as “Hollywood finches,” because of its plumage and pleasant song. Released into the wild, populations have developed in the Pacific Northwest from British Columbia to California.
Description of a House Finch:
The male house finch has a length of an estimated 15 centimetres, with red on the head, upper breast and flanks. In some regions the colour red may be replaced with yellow or orange, due to the differences in regional diets. The female has a uniformly brown-streaked head with broad brown streaking on the breast and belly, the under tail converts are usually not streaked.
Mating Habits of a House Finch:
During courtship, females solicit food from prospective mates with the males reacting to her by either mock feeding or actually regurgitating food in the female’s mouth. During the mating season, males may be seen carrying sticks or other nesting material in their bills. As with most songbirds, they are monogamous.
One interesting detail is that the males will defend their female mate rather than nesting territories as other birds do.
Nesting Habits of a House Finch:
Although bird watchers may see the male with nesting material, only the female actually builds the nest. Cup shaped and made of twigs, grasses, and leaves the nest is usually placed in a variety of artificial and natural cavities such as old woodpecker holes, located 1 to 3 meters above the ground.
The female lays and incubates 2 to 6 bluish with fine speckling eggs for 12 o 14 days and the young leave the nest in 11 to 19 days after hatching.
During the incubation period and for about five days after the young have hatched, the male, feeds the female on the nest, by regurgitating seeds into the females’ mouth. The female intern regurgitates the food to the nestlings.
After the young have fledged, the parents continue to feed the young. The female may find a new mate and raise another brood while the male continues to feed the previous brood. House finches have been known to raise more than two broods in a season.
Feeding Habits of a House Finch:
Unlike many other birds who switch their eating habits in spring and summer, finches are vegetarians all year. Their diet consists of seeds, fruit, and buds. Even during the breeding season these birds regurgitate seeds for their young.