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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

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

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
  • Heavy streaking on light underside

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

[edit] Variations

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

[edit] Distribution

North America, Canada to southern Mexico

[edit] Taxonomy

Formerly placed in genus Carpodacus.

[edit] Subspecies

Young MalePhoto © by UncleGus_24Green Valley, Arizona, USA, February 2010
Young Male
Photo © by UncleGus_24
Green Valley, Arizona, USA, February 2010

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)
  • 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

Males and femalesPhoto © by marcsantacurzLong Marine Lab, Santa Cruz, California, November 2018
Males and females
Photo © by marcsantacurz
Long Marine Lab, Santa Cruz, California, November 2018

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.

[edit] Diet

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

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Birdforum thread discussing redder House Finch in Mexico
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2018)

[edit] External Links


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