Purple Finch

Haemorhous purpureus




Fringilline & Cardueline Finches (Fringillidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Light green blue with black and briwn markings

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

6 - 40 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Twigs, weeds, rootlets, strips of bark, and string with moss and grass lining.


Northern birds migrate



Purple Finch: Medium-sized finch with rose-red body and brown streaks on nape and back. Sides, flanks, and belly are dull white with red wash; sides show thick, faint streaks. Wings and notched tail are brown. Female has streaked brown upperparts, heavily streaked dull white underparts, pronounced pale stripe behind eye, dark jaw stripe, and two pale wing-bars. Juvenile resembles adult female.

Range and Habitat

Purple Finch: Breeds from southern Yukon east to Newfoundland, southward in the western mountains to California and from eastern Minnesota east to West Virginia. Spends winters south to the U.S.-Mexico border. Preferred habitats include mixed and coniferous woodlands and ornamental conifers located in gardens.

Breeding and Nesting

Purple Finch: Three to five light green blue eggs, marked with black and brown, are laid in a well-made cup of grass and twigs, often lined with hair, and built in a conifer. Eggs are incubated for 13 days by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Purple Finch: Diet consists mostly of seeds, buds, blossoms, and fruits, usually taken from outer branches of trees and occasionally from the ground.

Readily Eats

Peanuts, Suet, Millet, Fruit, Sunflower Seeds (hulled), Commercial Mixed Bird Seed


Purple Finch: Song is a rich, musical warble. Call is a distinctive "tick" in flight.

Similar Species

Purple Finch: House Finch has a squared tail and less red on head. Cassin's Finch has less red overall and has streaked undertail coverts.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X