In late summer, the Purple Finch begins to molt, and in winter plumage, a male’s reddish areas appear frosted. With wear, the whitish tinge disappears, revealing the rich breeding color.
Scientific Name: Haemorhous purpureus.
Length: 6 inches.
Wingspan: 10 inches.
Distinctive Markings: Male has a raspberry-red tinge, brightest on head and rump; lighter in winter. Tail is notched. Female is brown-gray striped, with a dark cheek patch.
Nest: Made of natural materials and fur, situated in a tree with and holds four to five pale green-blue eggs speckled with blacks and browns.
Voice: An unstructured but melodious “fridi ferdi frididifri fridi frr” song.
Habitat: Coniferous and mixed forest, oak woodlands, parks, streamsides, residential areas.
Diet: Mostly a seed-eater, but also feeds on buds, berries, and insects.
Backyard Favorites: Sunflower seeds and millet.
Originally Published: September 29, 2013