Purple Finch

Scientific name: Carpodacus purpureus

The plumage of male Purple Finches is often described as raspberry red, more extensive than the red on male House Finches. In winter, Purple Finches are irruptive in distribution and are more common in some years than others. These movements appear to be related to food supplies in northern forests.

Purple Finch nests are parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds relatively rarely. If a female Purple Finch has already laid any of her own eggs, she usually accepts cowbird eggs. This is actually a poor choice for cowbirds, because young Purple Finches are fed mostly seeds, while young cowbirds require insects.