Purple Finch


This La Nina weather pattern shows no sign of abating, making outings miserably wet and not so productive, so I was delighted to see a Purple Finch in the yard this week. About once a year I see a Purple Finch at my feeder. They breed in mixed woodlands in the Portland area, but not in my neighborhood.


Many years ago, before House Finches had spread across the entire continent, separating House and Purple Finches was considered quite a challenge. But here, with the benefit of a few decades experience, they don’t look all that similar. There are clear differences in color, and the Purple Finch shows quite a bit more heft than the more slender House Finch. While the House Finch has patches of red, the Purple Finch is pinkish-purple all over.


Those dorsal view of the Purple Finch shows the pinkish color washed over the upperparts, including the wings.


Like all finches, they have no trouble popping open sunflower seeds.

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2 thoughts on “Purple Finch

  1. When I banded at PRBO and was still getting to know my birds, we told them apart by how hard they would bite you. I think you can guess who bit the hardest.

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