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.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

What House Finches eat

House Finches eat almost exclusively plant materials, including seeds, buds and fruits. Wild foods include wild mustard seeds, knotweed, thistle, poison oak, grass and many other flower seeds. In orchards, House Finches eat cherries, apricots, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries, blackberries, mulberries and grapes. At feeders they eat safflower, sunflower, nyjer, dried fruit, oranges and jelly.

The amount of red the male finch has can vary depending on the amount of carotenoid pigments he eats during his fall molt. Many brilliant red, orange, and yellow color displays of birds are the result of carotenoid pigments deposited in the feathers.

Carotenoids are the class of hydrocarbons, widespread in nature and important pigments in living organisms. They are found in foods that are deep green, yellow, orange, and red like fruits, vegetables and seeds.

Normal male House Finches exhibit individual variation in coloration, with their plumage ranging from pale orange to bright red, but the brighter males have an advantage with the females. Carotenoid-based feather coloration has been found to be an important criterion in female mate choice because brighter finches usually have better foraging ability, better health, more testosterone and less parasite loads.

Related Articles:
Compare House Finches and Purple Finches http://bit.ly/oOogOf
What can I feed the cardinals to make them redder? http://bit.ly/vn2HK3
How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://bit.ly/rT5Hfj
Why male and females are a different color http://bit.ly/ueILUf
House Finch feeding his baby http://goo.gl/g4svn
Remove all winter wreaths before finches begin nesting in them http://goo.gl/OeyOS

No comments: