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House Finch

From Opus

MalePhoto by skiel Orange County, New York, USA, March 2006
Photo by skiel
Orange County, New York, USA, March 2006
Haemorhous mexicanus

Carpodacus mexicanus


[edit] Identification

L. 5-6" (13-15 cm)
Bright red on crown, breast, and rump. A yellow carotinoid variant is sometimes seen (photo below).
Plain, unstriped head and heavy streaking on light underside

FemalePhoto by AlanRHonolulu, March 2007
Photo by AlanR
Honolulu, March 2007

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

Geographical variation
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).

[edit] Distribution

North America, Canada to southern Mexico

[edit] Taxonomy

Formerly placed in genus Carpodacus.

[edit] Subspecies

The yellow carotinoid variantPhoto by digishooterKern Co, CA, USA, May 2011
The yellow carotinoid variant
Photo by digishooter
Kern Co, CA, USA, May 2011

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

  • 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, QuerĂ©taro 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)
Young MalePhoto by UncleGus_24Green Valley, Arizona, USA, February 2010
Young Male
Photo by UncleGus_24
Green Valley, Arizona, USA, February 2010
  • 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

[edit] Habitat

Deserts, orchards, coastal valleys and forests.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

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

[edit] Diet

Diet includes insects and grass seeds.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at
  2. Birdforum thread discussing redder House Finch in Mexico

[edit] External Links


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