Cassin’s Finch

The Cassin’s Finch (Carpodacus cassinii), is a species of finch of the Rosefinch genus. Their breeding habitat is coniferous forest in mountains of western North America as far south as northern New Mexico and Arizona. They are also found in Southern California near Baja California. They nest in a large conifer. They move to lower elevations in winter. Birds from Canada migrate south as far as central interior Mexico and the Mexican Plateau.

Adults have a short forked brown tail and brown wings. They have a longer bill than the Purple Finch. Adult males are raspberry red on the head, breast, back and rump. Their back and under tail are streaked. Adult females have light brown upperparts and light underparts with brown streaks throughout; their facial markings are less distinct than those of the female Purple Finch.

These birds forage in trees, sometimes in ground vegetation. They mainly eat seeds, buds and berries, some insects. When not nesting, they often feed in small flocks.

This bird was named after John Cassin, who was a curator at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.

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