La. passer sparrow, small
La. forma form, kind, species
La. fringilla a small bird
Gr. karpos fruit;
Gr. dektes a biter
Gr. dakos a biter
Gr. dakno to bite
Aztec Mexitili god of war
Five to six inches long. Bright red forehead, throat and upper breast.
Brown back and wings, long brown tail. Dull white underside
streaked with brown.
Short broad beak. Often mistaken for the
Purple Finch, however not quite as richly colored.
Native in the West,
originally with a broad range of habitats from forest edges, smaller
wood stands, and deserts. Now inhabits mostly towns and cities.
Introduced in the East (New York), and has since spread back westward
throughout the U.S. and southern Canada. Hawaii too. One of
the most populous birds in inner cities throughout the continent.
Builds nests of fine twigs, grasses and feathers in a wide variety of
trees, vine thickets, gardens, porches and bird houses. Sometimes
acquires the nest of an Oriole or Cliff Swallow
Lays two to six white eggs which hatch after about two weeks
incubation and young leave the nest in about another two weeks. They may
raise several broods in a season.
A favorite back yard bird, some California fruit growers being an
The House Finch Nestbox has a 6" by 6" floor, 6" inside ceiling, 2" diameter
entrance hole located 4 1/2" above the floor and ventilation openings.
Assemble with corrosion resistant screws and fit to pre-drilled countersunk
pilot holes. Secure hinged roof with shutter hooks for easy access.
Mount on a post in the middle of a yard just out of reach. Beware,
with a 2" entrance hole, a mob of House Sparrows will also be attracted
to this house.
House Finches will also nest on Platforms.
House Finch Nest Box Plans
House finches feeding on sunflower seeds.
Build this feeder (plans below)
House Finches are bubbly singers mixing in chatter and
other indescribable sounds.
They are accustomed to people. Flocks,
usually families of finches, often dominate feeders in large enough
numbers to chase away house sparrows. Although they also sometimes
tolerate each other.
Parent House Finches bring their young to back
yard feeders shortly after fledging where they must shell the seeds
for them for the first few days.
It's hard to tell the difference between the parents and their young
until you see who's
begging and who's feeding. Sunflowers seeds are an inexpensive
favorite and will also limit House Sparrows who would prefer mixed seeds
given a choice.
To attract House Finches, also plant liquidambar (sweetgum)
and birch trees, marigolds, zinneas and sunflowers.