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Do House Finches Migrate? Everything You Need to Know!

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male house finch perching

The house finch is a small colorful bird that you can find almost anywhere in the United States. It’s a common visitor to the backyard feeder, and many people keep these birds as pets. If you have these birds visiting your feeder, you might be wondering if they will migrate south for the winter. The short answer is no, these birds tend to stay where they are, but keep reading as we investigate where they came from and how they deal with the winter months.

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What Is the House Finch?

The house finch is a bird native to California and New Mexico, and you could only find these birds there for many years. However, in 1939, a New York pet store owner released several birds into the wild, and a few years later, observers found nesting sites. Since then, the birds have expanded their territory, and today, you can find them anywhere in the United States, even in Hawaii.

House Finch eating berries from the tree
Image By: Tyler Jamieson Moulton, Shutterstock

What Does the House Finch Look Like?

The house finch is about 5 to 6 inches long with a wingspan of 8 to 10 inches. The males are more colorful than the females, and the colors will be lighter or darker depending on the bird’s diet. These birds are vegetarians from birth, and different seeds and berries will help them have more color. Females are brown or tan and are the primary nest builders.

Does the House Finch Migrate?

The house finch does not migrate, possibly because it’s not native to the Northern areas of the United States, and it only exists there now because someone introduced it to the region and it was able to adapt. However, these birds do seem to prefer warm climates, where they like to make their nests in cacti. In cool temperatures, they make their nests in the trunks of pine trees, where the dense cover protects them from the weather.

house finch bird perching on a tree trunk
Image By: bryanhanson1956, Pixabay

How Can I See a House Finch?

The house finch is extremely common across the United States, and once you get familiar with its body shape, you will be surprised at how frequently you see these birds. Though they won’t use a bird box, you can invite them to your yard by installing a backyard feeder. The house finch enjoys almost any type of seeds and will frequently visit. It also makes a fantastic pet, and you can find one in nearly any pet store for a reasonable price.

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Final Thoughts

The house finch is an extremely common bird that’s easy to see almost anywhere. It doesn’t migrate, so if you have a few of these birds around your feeder, they will likely keep coming back all year, and if you have one as a pet, it won’t get any strange urges to leave. Since these birds are not local to cold areas, they likely have no instinctual call to fly south. However, they are extremely adaptable and know to protect themselves from the cold by building nests under dense cover.


Featured Image Credit: rck_953, Shutterstock

About the Author Ed Malaker

Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who contributes to a wide range of blogs covering information on computer programming, pets, birding, tools, fitness, guitars, and optics. Outside of writing, Ed is often found working in the garden or performing DIY projects in the house. Ed is also a musician, spending his time composing music for independent films or helping people repair their guitars.