Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The house finch, Carpodacus mexicanus, is native to the western United States and Mexico. In 1940, a small number were released in New York City. During the intervening years, populations in the eastern United States have expanded rapidly, especially in urban areas, and this species is now found throughout most of the United States. This bird is found in almost any habitat, both native and human altered, except for vast expanses of grassland or sparsely vegetated desert flats. In Utah, the house finch is a common year-round resident found statewide.

The house finch feeds almost exclusively on seeds and fruits; insects are rarely eaten. Nesting usually begins in March. Nests are constructed mainly by the females, though males occasionally bring material to the nest site. Nesting materials includes fine plant matter, wool, and feathers. Nests may be located in a wide variety of sites, often in concealed locations such as cavities, bushes, and trees, but sometimes on open ledges on cliffs or buildings. Sometimes the nest is reused for second broods or during the following year. Usually four or five eggs are laid. The female incubates the eggs alone for 12 to 14 days, and the male brings food to the nest. The young are cared for by both parents and leave the nest after 14 to 16 days. Often two broods are produced each year, and sometimes even three are produced.


  • Hill, G. E. 1993. House finch (Carpodacus mexicanus). Birds of North America 46: 24 pp.

  • Baicich, P. J., and C. J. O. Harrison. 1997. A guide to the nests, eggs, and nestlings of North American Birds, Second Ed. Academic Press, San Diego. 347 pp.