House Finches and Purple Finches: How to Tell the Difference
House finches and purple finches look very similar. Birding experts explain how backyard birders can identify these finches.
Telling house and purple finches apart is a common backyard birding challenge across much of North America. On the males, one of the first things to look for is the pattern on the sides of the body, below the wings. House finch males have dark stripes there (as seen in the photo above), while purple finches don’t.
Psst—here’s how to choose the best nyjer feeders to attract finches.
A female house finch has a fairly plain brown face, while a female purple finch has a contrasting white eyebrow and whisker mark. House finches also have a smaller beak, a slimmer body, shorter wingtips, and a longer tail than the purple finch.