Birdhouses 101 -about Finch

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About The Finch

The finch belongs to the biggest bird family known as “fringillidae.” Its name is derived from the Latin term “fringilla” which means chaffinch, a bird commonly found in Europe. Finches are passerine birds found mainly in Africa and the northern hemisphere. They live in most parts of the globe except in Australia.

The classic and real finch is small to medium in size about 3.8 to 5 inches with short but strong beaks and a wingspan of eight to ten inches. It can weight from 16 to 27 grams. Finches have 12 tail feathers and nine primaries. They bounce when flying and alternately flap their wings then glide with wings closed.

The finch has more than one thousand species belonging to different families and subfamilies. Their relatives include the cardinals, buntings, grosbeaks, towhees and sparrows. This songbird is said to be the most developed of all birds and are diversified. It is also a useful bird in that it destroys weed seeds and eats harmful insects. Most finches, regardless of classification, have stout bills and well-developed gizzard and mainly feed on seeds.

There are different kinds of finches such as the house finch, golden finch, purple finch and zebra finch among many others. There are also many birds belonging to other families like the waxbill and sparrow which are likewise called finches

Male house finches can be distinguished by their red heads, necks and shoulders. Sometimes, this color extends to the stomach and their back between the wings. The female finch is brown in its upper parts and striped in its lower parts with a much plainer face compared to other finches. The finch is also a songbird that produces a hoarse warble. Its call sound is a sharp “cheep.”

The purple finch, on the other hand, is plump and the size of a sparrow. Despite being called purple, its color is actually raspberry red with a richer red on the breast, crown and rump. Its stomach and under tail are white while its wings and tail are dark grayish-brown. The edge of its feathers is purplish red with two red wing bars. The females have brown and white stripes with a dusky face. The purple finch also sings a warble and can sometimes imitate the songs of other birds. Their call sound is a short and low “tek.”

Gold finches in America are bright yellow especially the male while those in Britain are cinnamon brown with a red face, yellow and black wings. These birds abound in Europe as well as in America. They sing a lot and are very cheerful birds.

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Elsie Francis  5/25/2016)
Finally, a description of the red finch, too often called cardinal by many unthinking people. Thank you.

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