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Purple Finch Carpodacus purpureus


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Purple Finch, male
credit: Cephas/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Fringillidae, Finches view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has mostly reddish pink head and breast, color grading into reddish brown wash and indistinct streaks on flanks; underparts are otherwise whitish in eastern birds, but grubby gray in western birds, all with unstreaked undertail coverts. Back is streaked pinkish brown and dark wings have two pinkish buff wing bars and buffy edges to flight feathers. ADULT FEMALE Has mostly streaked gray-brown upperparts; contrast between pale supercilium, submustachial stripe, and throat, and darker ear coverts and malar stripe is greater in eastern birds than western ones. Underparts are whitish with dark streaks (except on undertail coverts), markings more distinct in eastern birds than western ones. JUVENILE Similar to adult female.

Dimensions Length: 5 1/2-6 1/2" (14-17 cm)

Habitat Common in coniferous forests. Partly resident, but northern breeders move south and east in fall, wintering in southeastern U.S.

Observation Tips Easy to see.

Range Northwest, Great Lakes, Southeast, Florida, Alaska, Texas, Eastern Canada, Plains, Western Canada, Rocky Mountains, Mid-Atlantic, California, New England, Southwest

Voice Song is a burst of rich, warbling notes; call is a sharp pik.

Discussion Plump, relatively large-headed finch. Culmen of conical bill is only very slightly curved. Forms small flocks outside breeding season. Sexes are dissimilar.