About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, February 1, 2016

House Finches: Learn more before #GBBC

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with nature and make a difference for birds. It’s free and easy. To learn more about how to join the count visit www.birdcount.org.

Get to know the House Finches before the Great Backyard Birdcount (#GBBC)

Female and Male House Finch photo via Wikimedia Commons
House Finches are native to the western part of the United States. In the 1940's a shipment of house finches was illegally introduced into Long Island, New York. Eventually the population became established and spread throughout the eastern portion of the United States and now are seen in almost every state.

House Finches are small songbirds about the same size as House Sparrows. Males are buff colored birds with light brown stripes all over that are touched with rosy-pink on the head, throat and rump. Females are buff colored birds with light brown stripes all over and normally have no red.

House finches are socially monogamous. Where you see the male you usually see the female nearby. They are not territorial. In fact, they often nest in close association, and commonly occur in small groups or flocks. In groups, males and females usually establish dominance hierarchies, in which females are typically dominant over males. Throughout most of their range, house finches do not migrate. They are year-round residents in Michigan.

As the House in their name implies, they like to nest near humans. They are common nesters in wreaths, hanging plants or bushy landscape plants from March to August.

At the feeders I’ve found their favorite seed is safflower. They will also eat Nyjer (thistle), Sunflower Chips, and Oil Sunflower Seed.
Anyone anywhere in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes on one and enter their sightings at www.BirdCount.org. The information gathered by tens of thousands of volunteers like you helps track the health of bird populations at a scale that would not otherwise be possible. The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with Wild Birds Unlimited, as a sponsor!
Related Articles:
- 10 Winter Finches in Michigan: http://bit.ly/oL3iCF 
- Birds of Michigan Field Guide http://bit.ly/pXv5ZN
- How to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count http://gbbc-is-coming
- How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://bit.ly/qizlNh  
- How to Prepare Your Yard for Winter Birdwatching http://bit.ly/q93Men 
- What is the best bird feeder? http://bit.ly/qVr7i8

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