Finches, also referred to as house finches, are small songbirds native to many parts of the southwestern United States. The birds prefer to live in outdoor environments, but are known to create nests in attics and garages which offer excellent conditions for their nesting. Since house finches live off of various fruits and seeds, they can cause damage to these plants if you have them in your yard. They can also cause damage in the form of droppings and nesting scraps scattered on your property.
What does a Finch look like?
House finches are similar in size to sparrows, measuring an average of five and a half inches in length. They have long brown tails and dull-colored bodies. Most adult males have red highlights on their heads. This reddish color is attributed to their diet, which includes lots of berries. Typically, the redder the male, the more successful it is at finding mates. Other species of finches may be yellow or purple.
What does a Finch eat?
Though it’s rare in the bird world, these pests are strictly vegetarians. While most birds feed their young meat for protein, finch diets consist of grains, seeds, and berries. They also forage on the ground for weeds such as nettles, dandelions, asters, and mistletoe.
Found all over the U.S., finches prefer city parks, backyards, and urban centers as nesting sites. They are also attracted to plains and fields with plenty of weeds. Since fruit-bearing trees are another favorite food source, house finches are considered agricultural pests.