California House Finches

Identification

Males are brownish with a bright red breast, forehead, rump, and stripe over the eye. They also have narrow dark stripes on the flanks and belly. Females are sparrowlike , with a plain head, streaked underparts , and no eye stripe. House finches have a warbling song, frequently ending in harsh, nasal notes. Their chirp is similar to that of a house sparrow.

 

Range and Habitat

House finches are abundant residents throughout the western United States and Mexico. They are becoming common in the East and are spreading into the central United States. They are most numerous on the valley floors and in the foothills of California, wherever food and water are available. Though house finches are classified along with other finches as migratory nongame birds under federal law, authorities agree that they are relatively nonmigratory  In late summer they move into the higher mountains and have been observed at elevations as high as 9,800 feet (3,000 m). They are generally resident birds and most of those in valley districts spend their lives within a few miles of the place where they were hatched.

The house finch is most abundant in the warm valleys of California near cultivated lands. Human development has created extensive favorable habitat including hedgerows, field edges and crop fields.

 

Fun Facts

House finches are primarily seed eaters, and before the introduction of cultivated fruits, they probably lived largely on weed seeds. House finches have adapted well to the presence of humans.

 

Damage Identification

House finches peck and feed on practically all deciduous fruits, berries, grains, vegetable seed, and flower seed. They also detach the bracts of fruit buds and eat the buds; at blossom time they knock off flower petals and eat the embryonic fruits.

 

Damage Prevention and Control Methods

Exclusion
Cover crops with plastic netting.

Habitat Modification
Remove cover used for nesting and resting.

Frightening
Av-Alarms® and gas cannons have been somewhat effective.
Avitrol ®.

Repellents
Capsicum

Toxicants
None are registered or currently available for use.

Trapping
Use culvert traps or foot snares; for bait use only wild animal road kills and scents.

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The above information was adapted from PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF WILDLIFE DAMAGE with permission of the editors, Scott E. Hygnstrom, Robert M. Timm, and Gary E. Larson (Cooperative Extension Division, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Damage Control, Great Plains Agricultural Council Wildlife Committee).

Our local California offices offer House Finches services in the following cities: Aguanga, Alameda, Albany, Aliso Viejo, Alpine, Alta, American Canyon, Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Antioch, Atherton, Auburn, Banning, Belmont, Belvedere, Berkeley, Bodega, Bonita, Brea, Brentwood, Buena Park, Burlingame, Cabazon, Calistoga, Cameron Park, Camino, Camp Pendleton, Campbell, Capistrano Beach, Cardiff-by-the-sea, Carlsbad, Carmichael, Carnelian Bay, Castro Valley, Chula Vista, Citrus Heights, Clayton, Cloverdale, Colfax, Concord, Corona Del Mar, Coronado, Corte Madera, Costa Mesa, Cotati, Coto De Caza, Cowan Heights, Cupertino, Cypress, Dana Point, Danville, Danville, Deer Park, Del Mar, Desert Center, Diamond Springs, Dublin, East Irvine, Echo Lake, El Cajon, El Cerrito, El Cerrito, El Toro, El Verano, Eldorado Hills, Elk Grove, Elkgrove, Emeryville, Encinitas, Escondido, Fair Oaks, Fairfax, Fairfax, Fallbrook, Fallen Leaf Lake, Folsom, Foothill Ranch, Foster City, Fountain Valley, Fremont, Fullerton, Galt, Garden Grove, Geyserville, Granite Bay, Guatay, Hawaiian Gardens, Hayward, Healdsburg, Hemet, Herald, Hercules, Hillsborough, Huntington Beach, Idyllwild, Imperial Beach, Inverness, Irvine, Isleton, Jacumba, Jamul, Jenner, Kentfield, Kings Beach, La Habra, La Jolla, La Mesa, La Palma, La Quinta, Lafayette, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lagunitas, Lake Forest, Lakeside, Larkspur, Lemon Grove, Lemon Heights, Leucadia, Lincoln, Livermore, Loomis, Los Alamitos, Los Altos, March Air Reserve Base, Marshall, Martinez, Martinez, Mather, Meeks Bay, Menlo Park, Meyers, Midway City, Mill Valley, Millbrae, Milpitas, Mission Viejo, Moraga, Mount Laguna, Mountain View, Napa, National City, Newark, Newcastle, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Newport Coast, Norco, North Palm Springs, Novato, Oakland, Oakley, Oakville, Ocean Beach, Oceanside, Olympic Valley, Orange, Orange Park, Orangevale, Orinda, Pacific Beach, Pala, Palm Springs, Palo Alto, Penngrove, Penryn, Petaluma, Piedmont, Pinole, Pittsburg, Placentia, Placerville, Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, Point Loma, Portola Valley, Poway, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Santa Margarita, Redwood City, Richmond, Rio Nido, Riverside, Rocklin, Rocklin, Rohnert Park, Roseville, Ross, Rossmoor, Sacramento, Saint Helena, San Anselmo, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Clemente, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jacinto, San Jose, San Juan Capistrano, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, San Marcos, San Mateo, San Pablo, San Rafael, San Ramon, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Santee, Saratoga, Sausalito, Seal Beach, Sebastopol, Solana Beach, Sonoma, South Laguna, South Lake Tahoe, Spring Valley, Stanton, Sunnyvale, Sunol, Tahoe City, Tahoe Vista, Tahoma, Tecate, Temecula, The Sea Ranch, Tiburon, Torrey Pines, Trabuco Canyon, Truckee, Tustin, Tustin Hills, Union City, Valley Center, Valley Ford, Villa Park, Vista, Walnut Creek, Walnut Grove, Warner Springs, Westminster, White Water, Windsor, Woodside, Yorba Linda, Youtville.

Eco-Wise Pest Control



California Wildlife Services

Get them out. Keep them out. 877-950-2473. Free estimate
1-877-950-2473. Critter Control. Free estimate

For your local Wildlife Control Expert, call 1-800-CRITTER.