Nature Journal
with Photos

Purple Finch Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
General Information
- Large, conical bill
- Short, forked tail
- Distinctive call note often given in flight

- Purplish-red head, breast, back and rump
- Streaked back
- White undertail coverts
- Brown wings and tail
- Immature male resembles female

- Brown crown and cheek patch contrasting with pale
  supercilium and malar streak
- Heavily streaked underparts
- Brown upperparts

Similar species
The male Purple Finch is similar to the House Finch but lacks brown streaks on the breast and belly, has a more purple head, shorter forked tail and different call notes. Female House Finch lacks the distinctive face pattern of the female Purple Finch.

Cassin's Finch is very similar in all plumages but has streaked undertail coverts and a larger bill. Male Cassin's has a brighter red crown. Female Cassin's has finer streaking on the breast and a less noticeable face pattern.

Pine Siskin is similar to female but smaller and lacks face pattern. Sparrows are slimmer with longer tails and different markings.
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