Finches are small-sized songbirds, belonging to the passerine family (of “perching birds”), known for their sharp, conical beaks. Their diet usually consists of berries, seeds and aphids. They are among the most commonly sighted birds in Colorado. The American state of Colorado is considered “a crossroads of biodiversity”. It has 41 state parks and four national parks spread over 60 ecosystems such as woodlands, prairies, mountain forests, the canyon, alpine tundra, etc. This geographic and ecological variation allows for several species of flora and fauna to reside in the State. The following are 10 breeds of finches in Colorado,
Finches in Colorado
1. House Finch
House Finches are one of the types of fiches found in Ohio and Colorado is known for their songs along with brown feathered bodies and streaks running down their tails and backs. Additionally, males have a rosy tint on their heads and upper breasts. This is the primary reason they are also listed as one of the birds with red on their heads. They have a wingspan ranging from 20 to 25 cm and a body length of 12 to 14 cm. They usually weigh between 19 and 22gm and are similar in size to sparrows. These pink birds build strong kinship ties and generally travel in flocks of hundred. These birds of Iowa are highly adaptable and live in residential areas as well in pine forests, near cacti, etc.
2. Purple Finch
Purple Finches are a distinct breed of finches, known for the unique raspberry coloured plumage that their males showcase. The female Purple Finches are not purple at all and have patterned brown and white streaky feathers. These birds are slightly heavier than the House Finch weighing upto 32 gm. They have a wingspan of upto 26cm. Purple Finches are a rare sight in the state. However, they can sometimes be seen in the north-eastern part of Colorado, outside their breeding season.
3. American Goldfinch
This breed of finches is listed as one of the cutest and smallest birds in the world best known for the seasonal change in their feathers. In the summers, American Goldfinches are covered in yellow feathers and hence listed as one of the popular yellow and black birds in the world. While females sport a pale yellow, the yellow plumage of males is brighter, with deep black wings. When the season changes to winter, these birds moult their feathers completely and sport an olive-brown colour with black and white wings. These types of yellow birds are small, with a body length of 10 to 13 cm, a wingspan of 19 to 20 cm and a weight between 11 to 20 gm. These birds in Pennsylvania love to eat grain over most berries and seeds. They can be seen in north-eastern Colorado all-round the year.
4. Pine Siskin
Pine Siskins have small beaks and are covered in brown streaks, with yellow edgings on their tails. These birds are quite similar to the American Goldfinch in size and mass. They have a wingspan ranging from 18 to 22cm. Pine Siskins are mostly found in western Colorado, where they feed on pine nuts throughout the year. They are spotted across the state, though not as common as other finch breeds. They are mostly seen in non0breeding seasons.
5. Grey-crowned Rosy-Finch
The Grey-Crowned Rosy-Finch, also known as the Grey-crowned Finch is one of the larger breeds of finches, weighing between 20 to 60 gm, with a body measuring between 14 to 21 cm, and a wingspan of 33 cm. In accordance with their name, these finches have a grey crown, brown feathered body with pink detailing on their tail and wings. They are generally spotted in western Colorado outside their breeding season. They prefer to forage on the ground near snow, to feed on insects and seeds.
Image Source: Wikimedia
6. Black-Rosy Finch
These are medium-sized finches, measuring from 14 to 16 cm in length. Black Rosy-Finches have a wingspan of 33.2 cm and weigh between 20 to 32 gm. They are usually seen in central and west Colorado outside their breeding season. They are very social creatures and are known to be in large numbered flocks of upto a thousand. They have a black-feathered body with rosy tints on their wings.
Image Source: Wikimedia
7. Brown-capped Rosy-Finch
Brown-Capped Finches are known for their brown bodies, black coloured forehead, and rosy highlights in their wings and underbellies. They are medium-sized finches, with a wingspan of 33cm and weight ranging between 23 to 32 gm. Their legs are short and black. Brown-Capped Rosy-Finches can usually be spotted in Central Colorado throughout the year, building cliffside nests in the Rocky Mountains.
Image Source: Wikimedia
8. Cassin’s Finch
With a near-identical size to the House Finch, Cassin’s Finch measures upto 14 cm in length. They weigh between 24 to 34 gm and their wingspan ranges between 24 to 27.5cm. Females are brown and white, with streaks on their underbellies and chests. Male Cassin’s Finches look similar but have rosy tones on their head. They are known to mingle with other breeds of finch during winter while foraging for food. They can be found in western Colorado and central Colorado all-round the year.
9. Common Redpolls
Common Redpolls have white and brown bodies with a bit of red on their heads. In addition, males have pale red chests. These birds weigh from 12 to 15 gm and have a wingspan of upto 22 cm. These finches can be seen eating while hanging upside down from tree branches. Like most other breeds of finch, they are social and migrate in flocks of hundreds. They are not commonly spotted in Colorado but are known to visit the state during the winter months as a stop on their migration route.
10. Red Crossbill
The Red Crossbill is a heavier breed of finch, weighing between 40 to 50 gm. They have a wingspan of 27 to 29 cm, and a body measuring between 14 to 20 cm in length. The upper and lower beaks of these finches do not align perfectly, the attribute giving the bird its name “Crossbill”. Female Red Crossbills have a brown body with tones of yellow throughout. Male Red Crossbills look different to their female counterparts, with red tones running across their bodies and the white coloured bars on their wings. In west Colorado, these small birds with a long beak can be seen in non-breeding seasons. In central and east Colorado, Red Crossbills can be spotted throughout the year.
These are the top 10 finches in Colorado. kIndly share and do post your comments.