Re: goldfinch - house finch



No, Caryn, purple finches are not the same as house finches. :) I like purple finches, but place house finches the same category as mice. We used to call them English sparrows and didn't like them because they were so prolific and took over the nest sites of other more desirable birds such as blue birds or purple martins. Cleaning out house finch nests from the martin house was a spring chore that I didn't particularly enjoy but did because they started nesting before the martins arrived and occupied every available space, which made them unavailable for the martins. They along with starlings were introduced species that adapted too well. Check this site for more information:
http://www.baylink.org/wpc/esparrow.html
Here is a link to pictures of the purple finch, whose size and color, particularly that of the female, resemble the house finch:
http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/birdid/purfin /
John
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Oy, this is getting complicated. John: House Finches aren't the same as House Sparrows (formerly known as English Sparrows). House Sparrows are the birds that have wreaked havoc on, for instance, bluebirds. (I think you actually know this and are just getting names confused.) I'm guessing you were clearing House Sparrow (or European Starling) nests out of your martin houses.
House Finches and Purple Finches are closely related species but have different although overlapping ranges. It would be unusual (although possible) for Caryn to have Purple Finches on Long Island in the summer; it's more likely that she has House Finches, which are year-round residents in most of their range (and are a protected native species, unlike House Sparrows).
Best, Tyra nNJ usa
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You were right that I was wrong. :) I was confusing the house finch with the house sparrow, which along with the European starling I detested. Thanks for pointing out my error!
BTW, in checking out the house finch, I found they were an introduced bird in the East. Here's a site with some interesting info on them:
http://birds.cornell.edu/BOW/HOUFIN /
John
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