Fanciful Finches

Did You Know? Finches are one of the smallest birds on the Earth and belong to the largest bird family.

Finches range in length from about 4 to 11 inches.  Many of them are drab browns and grays but some are brightly colored and patterned in various combinations of yellow, red, purple, blue, and green. Male house finches have splashes of orange-red color on their heads, shoulders and upper chest. Purple Finches have a cool, purple-red plumage and are less common than house finches.

When American Goldfinches molt in fall, the winter coats for both the males and females are a cross between olive green and drab yellow with black and white accents. They will molt again in the spring and the male plumage becomes bright yellow to help attract females. Female gold finches become dull yellow.

Most finches feed on seed although some eat berries and fruits while others eat insects. Nearly all finches feed insects to their young.