Purple Finch – State Bird of New Hampshire
Image courtesy Powder Mill Bird Banding
Description: The male Purple finch resembles a sparrow dipped in cranberry juice. It has a rose-colored body with a white abdomen. Its wings and back are brownish. The purple finch has a short, but thick conical bill used for cracking seeds. Female Purple Finches are mostly brown, with two conspicuous white stripes through each side of the head. The underparts are white with brown streaks. The Purple Finch reaches a length of about six inches. Immature Birds look identical to the female.
Diet: The Purple Finch eats seeds, buds, flowers, nectar, blossoms and occasionally insects.
Range: The Purple Finch breeds throughout central and southern Canada south through New England and into the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. It also breeds in northern Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the eastern Dakotas, and along the entire Pacific Coast of the United States. The Purple Finch winters throughout the eastern and midwestern United States as well as along the Pacific Coast.
Habitat: The Purple Finch breeds on cool coniferous forests, but may turn up in orchards, deciduous woodlands, and suburban yards.
Nesting: The female lays 2-7 eggs, usually on the outer branches of a conifer.
Status: The Purple Finch is thought to be a species in decline, especially in eastern portions of its range. The expanding population of the similar House Finch is thought to be a factor in this decline.
Purple Finch Video
Purple Finch song