House Finches


Actual Size: 5″ in length, 9″ wingspan

Characteristics: Small colorful songbirds about the same size as a house sparrow, but more slender.

Habitat: Lives near settled areas such as city parks and residential backyards; will build nests in chimneys, attics, and dryer vents.


  • Social birds that collect at feeders or perch high in nearby trees.
  • When not at feeders, they feed on the ground, on weed stalks, or in trees.
  • House finches will set up nests near their food source, which can include homes and yards.

House Finches Identification


What Do House Finches Look Like?

House Finches are small songbirds with stout bodies and short, notched tails. Male House Finches have vibrant red plumage on their heads, throats, and chests, while females and juveniles have brown and streaked plumage. Both sexes have thick, conical bills suited for cracking seeds, and their wings are primarily brown with hints of white markings.

Take a look at the most common birds found in North Carolina to help identify which bird you are dealing with.

Signs of a House Finch Infestation

Signs of a House Finch infestation may include large numbers of these birds congregating around bird feeders, especially if they are monopolizing the feeder and preventing other birds from accessing food. Additionally, excessive amounts of bird droppings around feeding areas and nesting sites, along with nests built in or around buildings, can indicate a House Finch infestation.


Habitat, Diet, Life Cycle & Impact


Where Do House Finches Live?

House finches live near settled habitats, such as city parks, urban centers, residential backyards, farms, and forests. Outgoing and social, house finches are found in noisy groups that are hard to miss if present. 

House finches prefer to live outdoors but are known to build nests in chimneys, attics, garages, and dryer vents which offer exceptional conditions for nesting. They construct cup-shaped nests using twigs, grasses, and other plant materials, often situated in protected locations with some overhead cover. 

Diet of a House Finch

They can be seen feeding on the ground, at bird feeders, or perching high in nearby trees.

These birds love seeds and fruit and when foraging for food, they can cause significant damage to fruit trees and shrubs in your yard. They also can create quite a mess in the form of droppings and nesting debris scattered on your property. Most house finch damage is the result of their food-seeking behaviors as they peck at ripening fruit and eat the seeds of various plants. They also love to eat budding blossoms and flowers which can be quite frustrating to gardeners.

Life Cycle of a House Finch

House finches breed between March and August. A breeding pair may have as many as six clutches of eggs in one summer, but usually only have three. Females build shallow, cup-shaped nests in shrubs, eaves, tree cavities, buildings, hanging plants, and tree branches. Both parents tend to the young which will leave the nest in 12-19 days. The male continues to feed the fledglings for two weeks while the female builds a new nest and begins raising the next brood. After they become independent, young house finches form large flocks that will be able to breed the following spring.

What is the Impact of a House Finch?

House Finches can carry and transmit diseases such as mycoplasmal conjunctivitis, which can cause severe eye infections and even blindness in birds. Their invasive nature can lead to competition with native bird species for nesting sites and food resources. While they contribute to local ecosystems as seed dispersers and insect predators, their population explosions in certain areas can disrupt ecological balance.


Are House Finches Aggressive?

House Finches are not typically aggressive toward humans, they can display territorial behavior towards other birds, particularly during the breeding season. Male House Finches may exhibit aggression towards other males to defend nesting territories or food sources.


House Finch Prevention Tips

To prevent House Finch issues:

  1. Clean feeding areas: Regularly clean bird feeders and baths, this will help to prevent the buildup of waste that will attract House Finches.
  2. Bird seeds: Use bird feeders to minimize spillage and only provide enough seed to last a day to discourage excess feeding.
  3. Nesting areas: Seal off gaps and crevices in buildings to prevent nesting opportunities.
  4. Scare tactics: Use reflective objects or predator decoys to discourage roosting and nesting.

Contact Bug Out to help with bird control in your area




Are House Finches good to have around?

House Finches can be beneficial as they help control insect populations and serve as seed dispersers, aiding in plant propagation. They are enjoyable to observe and can enhance the biodiversity of urban and suburban environments.

What is the difference between a finch and a House Finch?

Finches are a diverse family of small to medium-sized songbirds. House Finches specifically refer to a species native to North America, distinguishable by the vibrant red plumage on males’ heads, throats, and chests.

What does it mean when you see a House Finch?

Their presence often indicates a healthy ecosystem and can bring joy to birdwatchers with their colorful plumage and melodic songs. However, it may also serve as a reminder to maintain clean feeding areas to prevent issues such as excessive waste buildup or disease transmission among bird populations.