Recognizing House Finches and Purple Finches

House Finches and Purple Finches can be difficult to tell apart. For this survey, it is important that participants be able to note the difference. The disease affects mostly House Finches, and recorded Purple Finch infections are somewhat uncommon. The following are pictures intended to help participants distinguish the two finches, along with comments on major field marks. All pictures on this page are courtesy of Errol Taskin, a participant from Louisiana.

House Finches

House Finches females lack strong facial markings and are an overall grayish brown color. Males vary in color from orange-red to a deeper purple-red, but wings lack much coloring and the flanks are streaked.

Purple Finches

Purple finch females have much stronger facial markings than female House Finches, and can be drab greenish to brownish. Male Purple Finches are often more "raspberry" colored than House Finches, and have coloration on their wings. There is noticeably less streaking on the flanks of male Purple Finches.



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