Interesting House Finch Facts

1. The House Finch is known by the scientific community as Carpodacus mexicanus. Interestingly enough, the first word in its scientific name suits its feeding preferences quite well. Carpodacus is in fact the Greek word for fruit-eater. Then again, we know that House Finches eat more than fruits.

2. The House Finches that were released in Long Island many decades ago were saved by legislation. They were considered illegally caged and as such the people who held them in custody were to be prosecuted if caught. That is why a huge number of House Finches were released in that area.

3. Though House Finches were originally found all throughout the continent of North America, they have been introduced to other islands as well. Hawaii has its own population of House Finches now and they can be found in all of the main islands of this state. Hawaiian House Finches have changed their color to yellow, red, and orange.

4. In Hawaii, another name for a House Finch would be a linnet or papaya eater.

5. Studies have found a reason for the change in color of the Hawaiian House Finches. It seems that the culprit is physiological stress as well as improper diet. This is quite surprising as Hawaii has a lot of vegetation that could serve as food. Though the population of House Finches seems to be doing well, this fact seems to indicate otherwise.

6. House Finches get their pigmentation from plant carotids. Perhaps that is the reason for the change in color in Hawaiian House Finches as the local vegetation may have different properties.

7. Though House Finches are quite small, they can live for quite some time. Their expected life span – barring any unfortunate accidents, that is – is about 9 to 10 years.

8. House Finches remember where they can find a source of food. Once you attract certain House Finches to your feeder, they will be sure to keep coming back as long as you keep refilling your feeder.

9. One of the oldest and most commonly accepted facts about House Finches is that the females tend to choose the male which has the reddest breast color. Yet recent studies have shown that this is not entirely true. Another consideration for choosing a mate seems to be that the mate should be as genetically different as possible in order to prevent in breeding. Just how the finches know that they are genetically different, no one knows as of now.

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