• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

House Finch - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Carpodacus mexicanus)
Photo © by skiel
Orange County, New York, USA, 12 March 2006
Haemorhous mexicanus

Carpodacus mexicanus


Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Pacifica, San Mateo County, California, USA, 30 March 2020

L. 5-6" (13-15 cm)

  • Bright red on crown, breast, and rump (some individuals duller more pink depending on diet)
  • A yellow carotinoid variant is sometimes seen (photo below).


  • Plain, unstriped head
  • Heavy streaking on light underside

Immature males
Less highly coloured, often orangish or yellowish on head and breast

Similar Species

Male Purple Finch and Cassin's Finch lack brown flank streaking and have a shorter more notched tail. Females of both have pale eyebrow and malar lacking in female House Finch.


The yellow carotinoid variant
Photo © by digishooter
Kern Co, CA, USA, 14 May 2011

In north-west Mexico is a region where House Finch males are extensively red and with much less brownish streaking on the underside[2] (probably subspecies ruberrimus).


Western North America, Canada to southern Mexico. Introduced (H. m. frontalis) to eastern North America and (nominate) to Hawaii.


Formerly placed in genus Carpodacus.


Variant male
Photo © by Gus Hallgren
Green Valley, Arizona, USA, 26 February 2010

This is a polytypic species consisting of twelve subspecies[1]:

  • H. m. frontalis: South-western Canada to western US, Baja California and north-western Mexico
  • H. m. clementis: Channel Islands (off southern California) and Los Coronados Islands (off northern Baja)
  • H. m. amplus: Guadalupe Island (off Baja California)
  • H. m. ruberrimus: Southern Baja California and north-western Mexico (Sonora, southern Sinaloa and south-western Chihuahua)
  • H. m. rhodopnus: Arid tropical central Sinaloa
  • H. m. coccineus: Mountains of south-western Mexico (southern Nayarit and western Zacatecas to western Michoacán)
  • H. m. potosinus: Southern Texas (Rio Grande Valley) to Chihuahua and south-western Tamaulipas
  • H. m. centralis: Central Mexican plateau (Guanajuato, Querétaro and adjacent states)
  • H. m. mexicanus: South central Mexican plateau (eastern Michoacán to Hidalgo and Oaxaca)
  • H. m. roseipectus: Southern Mexico (southern Puebla and Valley of Oaxaca)
  • H.. m. griscomi: South-western Mexico (Sierra Madre del Sur of Guerrero)
  • H. m. mcgregori: Formerly San Benito and Cedros island (off Baja California). Extinct


Photo © by Lorenz_C
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 3 October 2020

Deserts, orchards, coastal valleys and forests.


Male - Display
Photo © by the late Donny Taylor
Wayne County, North Carolina, USA, 30 April 2021

Frequently seen sitting high up on utility wires or other exposed perches.


A tightly woven, compact nest is made and set in a bush, thicket, natural cavity, or on a building. The clutch contains 3-5 bluish, lightly streaked or spotted eggs.


Diet consists mainly of seeds, buds and fruit, with the addition of some insects.


Male sings throughout the year (except during moult, from late July to October). Song may be given in flight or from perch; an unstructured jumble, higher-pitched than Purple Finch or Cassin's Finch and and concluding with a distinct down-slurred note. Female may give a simpler version of song. Common call is a cheep or cheet, often given in flight. Also a sharp chirp, recalling House Sparrow.


Notice that in addition to call of House Finch, there is also sound from Fish Crow at second 10 and again starting at second 19 of the recording.
Recording © by NJLarsen, Carolina Sandhills NWR, South Carolina, USA, 29 April 2023


Photo © by 1micalngelo
Story Mill, Montana, USA, 9 April 2021

Resident, migratory and dispersive. Prior to 1945 those in western part of range occupied breeding areas between late March/early April and September with altitudinal movements to lower levels and plains; sometimes irruptive, wandering throughout range south to Texas and Mexico. Breeders in the northeast part of range move longer distances south & southwest the southern parts of their breeding range. Banding studies show adult females move longer distances on average than males. Most movements diurnal and determined by the availability of food.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdforum thread discussing redder House Finch in Mexico
  3. Clement, P. (2020). House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/61389 on 4 April 2020).
  4. Badyaev, A. V., V. Belloni, and G. E. Hill (2020). House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.houfin.01
  5. Clement, P., A. Harris, and J. Davis. (1993) Finches and Sparrows: An Identification Guide. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, N. J. ISBN 0-69103-424-9

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1