House finch vs purple finch: What is the difference? You may find it ironic but the purple finch is not actually purple and the house finch doesn’t stick to the house at all. However, both birds are almost similar in appearance. The red and brown bird at your feeder could either be a house finch or a purple finch. Don’t judge too quickly but how do you distinguish them from each other.

Simply looking at the two birds might only confuse you more. Hence, let’s dive in and learn more about the different features of a house finch and purple finch that you have to look into to make a comparison.

Difference Between House Finch And Purple Finch

Body Shape

House finches are regularly more thin than purple finches, which frequently look stocky with a bigger head and thicker neck in relation to their body size. Body shape can be misshaped by a bird’s stance and development. These birds can be seen together in the same flock going to your bird feeders, hence it is very easy for you to identify both. 

Plumage Color

Both finches almost have the same color. However, the house finch has the classic red or red-orange plumage while the purple finch has dark pink to rosy hue. It is almost similar to a raspberry. Their feathers may somehow appear to change in color depending on how the daylight reflects on their feathers.

 Are house finch and Purple Finch the same?


The sharpness of the markings is key for recognizing these female finches. Female house finches have foggy streaks on their underparts and a generally plain face. Female purple finches, in the meantime, have forcefully characterized streaks and an all-around stamped face with an unmistakable whitish eyebrow and fine streaks on the crown. 


When perching, the house finch has two thin white wing bars while the purple finch has rosy or red wash wing bars.


House finches have a more extended tail than purple finches, yet just show a weak score that isn’t noticeable all of the time. Purple finches have more limited tails with a significantly more unmistakable indent. Tail scores should be visible on roosted birds however are difficult all of the time to look at.

Bill: Both birds basically have the same shape as the bill but the house finches’ bill is smaller compared with the purple finch’s bill.

 difference between house finch and purple finch

Are House Finch And Purple Finch The Same?

The house finch and purple finch are not the same. Although they look more alike to each other, they have a few differences. In addition to the differences, we have mentioned above, both birds live on different continents. The house finch can be found in the United States and along the Canadian border all year-round. 

These birds are used to migration so they’re very common to the residents here. On the other hand, the purple finch is found in the boreal forests of Canada. They more to the United States in the winter but they are not present in the western plains and Rocky Mountain regions. You can find the purple finch on the Pacific coast year-round, somewhere in the northeastern United States and in the Great Lakes region.

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Purple Finch Vs House Finch Identification?

 house finch vs purple finch

In order to make identification between house finch vs purple finch, it is best to see both of the birds. When you see the differing features, it is easy for you to be able to spot the difference.

When you see the birds, observe several birds in the flock from different angles. This will help give birders a better view of the birds and check the characteristics for a positive characteristic. Since finches are attracted to bird feeders, it is easier for you to observe them at a closer angle.

It is important to note that a conclusive identification is not always possible. Over time, birders will less experience can develop familiarity with the birds that will help them identify each species without confusion. If it is your first time, it’s easy to confuse the two birds. 

Purple Finch Or House Finch

 So which would you prefer? The purple finch or the house finch. Honestly, both birds are beautiful so the choice boils down to wherever you are located. If you live in the United States near the northeast coast, then you most likely see the purple finch. But if you live in Canada, you should be able to see more of the house finch. 

Regardless of which variety you see, it is important that you give these birds some care. Birds are an important part of the ecosystem because they help control the population of rodents and other insects. Without them, there could be a whole lot of pests rampaging every corner.

 purple finch or house finch

Should You Leave Your Feeders For Them?

Indeed. Finches over and again eat from feeders. Building alluring feeders for birds, particularly for finches, requires the determination of a decent area. These raspberry-colored birds love to eat sunflower seeds. The most ideal way to draw in finches to your feeders is to serve them sunflower seeds. This is an astounding spot for birding and watching them.

Give a bath on the feeder to assist the birds with cooling themselves during summers and extinguish their thirst. In the colder time of year season, it is smarter to serve some warm water in the feeders. This will empower the bird to remain warm and feel loose throughout the colder time of year season. Make sure to layout feeders that are available to birds as it were. There are times when open bird feeders transform into taking care of ground for squirrels.

House finch vs purple finch: Now you know the difference. If you are an aspiring birder, you can take this as your first challenge. Note that there are millions of bird breeds that exist in the world. Stay tuned for more information about birds and how to identify them. 

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