[CT Birds] ID'ing House and Purple Finches

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Thu Oct 23 17:53:29 EDT 2014

The differences are really fairly obvious if you  see them side by side. In 
the album HERE:

are pictures of male and female (M and F) of both  species. Pictures 5 and 
6 are House Finches and 9 through 14 are Purple  Finches.
As you will see, the streaking on the female H. F. is finer  and darker 
than the P. Finch female. But the Purple finch does have the 2 bold  white 
lines on the face which are absent on the House finch. The house finch F  
appears darker overall. 
The males are actually easier to confuse, but there are a few  obvious 
points to look for. The M House finch has brown streaking on the lower  body 
where the red color ends, but the Purple finch is pretty much white, with  no 
streaking, below the "purple" (though there may be a stray brown mark here  
and there). Also, the M Purple Finch shows the same 2 head stripes as the F  
does, but they are pinkish instead of white. 
The House Finch M is more of a true red than the Purple  Finch M, which has 
been described as raspberry colored, and more of the body  is actually 
colored in adult P F males. The back and the wing bars are  reddish, as well as 
the breast, while on House Finches those are always  whitish with no red 
Hope this helps,
Don Morgan, Coventry, Ct  
mntncougar at aol.com

More information about the CTBirds mailing list