Birds of North America Home Page

Field Guide for all the Birds of North America

Purple Finch

Roselin pourpré

Haemorhous purpureus

Information, images and range maps on over 1,000 birds of North America, including sub-species, vagrants, introduced birds and possibilities


Species: The Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) is not purple, but a rosy or raspberry red colour, especially around the head, breast and back. This common bird is found throughout Canada and large areas of the USA. Seen in coniferous or coniferous/deciduous and forest edges in the breeding season. It is a common bird around birdfeeders in the winter months, keeping company with other species of finches, such as the American Goldfinch, Redpolls and Pine Siskin.

Distinctions: Sexually dimorphic, the male has a bright red plumage, including the head, back, upper breast, flanks and rump. Also, having a large bill and brown stripes on its back. The female's plumage is brown and olive green with steaking down the back also, and heavy streaking on its breast. The juvenile is similar to the female.

Voice: Warbling-type lyrics, continuous notes, some similarity to the Warbling Vireo.

Nesting: Four to five bluish-green eggs with brown and black markings, one to two broods per year. Nest built in a tree, composed of strips of bark, branches, twigs, grasses and moss.

Birds of North America
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Life, Habitat and Pictures of North American Finches

B L W W W Family Latin Name
6" 15.2cm 10" 25.4cm 0.88oz 25g Fringillidae Haemorhous purpureus

North American Bird Calls

  1. Tap to hear Choice 1
  2. Tap to hear Choice 2

  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter
range map

Distribution: Commonly seen throughout Canada and large areas of the USA. There is a concern of a declining population in the northeastern portions of the USA. Found from Newfoundland and Labrador, across Eastern Canada through the prairies, into the Territories to the southern end of the Yukon Territory, south along the Pacific coast to southern California. East-central USA, south into Texas and east to Florida.

References to Other Bird Sites:

Avibase - the world bird database This site provides the user with a complete list of bird species, broken down per country, or in the example of the US or Canada, per state and province. Here, bird species names are available in other languages, a great asset to be used as a translation of foreign bird names.

ABA - American Birding Association This site represents an organization that maintains official records of all birds species that have been proven to have been seen inside the perimeters of the North American Continent and the surrounding bodies of water. Regular revised versions are posted to keep the bird list current at all times. This is the list used by all serious birders over their lifetime. You may be aware of the movie called the "Big Year". It was with this list that all the competing birders used in an attempt to set a new record as to how many bird species that could be seen by an individual birder in one calendar year.

I hope you will take advantage of these suggested websites. I have used each of them, in one way or another, throughout the years in my quest to better identify and understand our fine feathered friends.

Classic Collection of North American Birds