Haemorhous purpureus

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Fringillidae

Genus: Haemorhous

Species: Haemorhous purpureus

Front view of Purple Finch

Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  Photo by Michel Berube from Pexels

Dorsal view of Purple Finch

Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  Photo by Yankech Gary on Flickr

Front view of female Purple Finch

Female Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) Photo by Robin Arnold from Pixabay


The Purple Finch is about 5-6 inches long and show sexual dimorphism. The males are cranberry red while the females are varying shades of brown and beige. They are often confused with the House Finch, whose populations share similar characteristics. The main way to tell them apart is that the male Purple Finch is much more colorful, with purple extending down the breast, belly, back, and wings. The female House Finch is a bit darker brown than the Purple Finch. Both sexes can be distinguished from the other species by their beaks as well, Purple Finches have bigger, thicker beaks than the House Finch (Wootton, 1987).

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