Christopher Taylor Bird Nature Wildlife Mammal Photography
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Purple Finch Image @
Location: Silverado, CA (Maple Springs)
GPS: 33.7N, -117.5W, elev=4,309' MAP
Date: June 27, 2009
ID : 7C2V9756 [3888 x 2592]

Purple Finch Image @
Location: Silverado, CA (Maple Springs)
GPS: 33.7N, -117.5W, elev=4,309' MAP
Date: June 27, 2009
ID : 7C2V9746 [3888 x 2592]

bird photography

Purple Finch Photo @
Location: Palos Verdes (South Coast Botanic Gardens), CA
GPS: 33.8N, -118.3W, elev=356' MAP
Date: February 19, 2009
ID : 7C2V4840 [3888 x 2592]

Purple Finch Picture @
Location: Paramount Ranch (Agoura Hills), CA
GPS: 34.1N, -118.8W, elev=726' MAP
Date: December 18, 2011
ID : B13K0850 [4896 x 3264]

nature photography


The Purple Finch, Carpodacus purpureus, is a small finch of the Rosefinch genus.


The Indigo Bunting is one of 24 birds in the genus Carpodacus and is included in the finch family, Fringillidae, which is made up of passerine birds found in northern hemisphere and Africa. The Indigo Bunting was originally described by Johann Friedrich Gmelin in 1789.

There are two subspecies of the Purple Finch, C. p. purpureus and C. p. californicus. C. p. californicus was identified by Spencer F. Baird in 1858. It differs from the nominate subspecies in that it has a longer tail and shorter wing. The plumage of both males and females are darker, and the coloration of the females is more greenish. The bill of C. p. californicus is also longer than that of the nominate subspecies.


Adults have a short forked brown tail and brown wings and are about 15 cm (4 in) in length and weigh 34 g (1.2 oz). Adult males are raspberry red on the head, breast, back and rump; their back is streaked. Adult females have light brown upperparts and white underparts with dark brown streaks throughout; they have a white line on the face above the eye.

Habitat and distribution

Their breeding habitat is coniferous and mixed forest in Canada and the northeastern United States, as well as various wooded areas along the U.S. Pacific coast. They nest on a horizontal branch or in a fork of a tree.

Birds from northern Canada migrate to the southern United States; other birds are permanent residents.



These birds forage in trees and bushes, sometimes in ground vegetation. They mainly eat seeds, berries and insects. They are fond of sunflower seeds, millet,and thistle.

This bird has been displaced from some habitat by House Sparrows and then the introduction of House Finches in the east. Purple Finches resemble the House Finch but the House Finch is a darker red color.

This is the state bird of New Hampshire.

Interesting Purple Finch Fact Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (August 2008)
  • The Purple Finch population has declined sharply in the East due to the House Finch. Most of the time, when these two species collide, the House Finch wins over the Purple Finch.

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purple_finch's Range Map Click here to see the Purple Finch's range map!
Listen to the Purple Finch Song:

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bird photography