Monday, February 9, 2009
Finch Vs. Finch
Which finch is which? House Finches and Purple Finches sometimes cause confusion. Pictured here are two males. A House Finch, Carpodacus mexicanus, is on the left and a Purple Finch, Carpodacus Purpureus, is on the right. The main difference is the color. If you have been to a paint store recently, you know that colors can be named all kinds of things -- but try these two: The House Finch, in honor of its scientific name, we'll call Mexican Fiesta Red. The Purple Finch we will call Raspberry Red. Does that help any? In addition to the color difference, look at the brown streaks on the sides and belly of the House Finch. The Purple Finch lacks those. Also, the Purple Finch looks to me as though he were actually dipped in his Raspberry Red color, while the House Finch looks like his Mexican Fiesta Red was painted on. Are those differences subtle? Maybe. But try them out the next time you see a reddish finch at your bird feeder.