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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

House Finch -- Carpodacus mexicanus

RANGE: Breeds in disjunct distribution throughout most of the western United States, south into Texas and Mexico, and in the northeastern part of the United States, north of the Carolinas, into New England. Winters throughout the breeding range in the west and south into the Appalachian Mountains.

STATUS: Abundant. Expanding range in the East.

HABITAT: Inhabits rural, suburban, and urban yards, parks, farms, and open woodlands, as well as wooded areas with large openings, chaparral, and arid shrublands.

NEST: Builds nests in a variety of sites, including tree cavities, and in dense outer foliage of trees and shrubs. In the East, generally chooses conifers, locating nest about 20 feet above the ground. Usually constructs nest with a variety of local grass and other available vegetation.

FOOD: Forages on the ground for a variety of vegetative material, including seeds and fruits. Also forages in domestic fruit trees, sometimes doing considerable damage. Consumes widely varing kinds of foods, depending on local availability; includes some insects.

REFERENCES: DeGraff et al. 1980, Evenden 1957, Terres 1980.

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