Michigan 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 Michigan offices offer House Finches services in the following cities: Acme, Ada, Akron, Alger, Allen Park, Allendale, Alma, Ann Arbor, Armada, Auburn Hills, Bad Axe, Barton Hills, Battle Creek, Bay City, Bellaire, Belleville, Bellevue, Benzonia, Berkley, Beulah, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, Birmingham, Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Twp., Brighton, Brighton, Brooklyn, Caledonia, Canadian Lakes, Canton, Carleton, Caro, Carrollton, Cascade, Casnovia, Cedar, Cedar Springs, Center Line, Central Lake, Charlotte, Chelsea, Clare, Clarkston, Clawson, Commerce Twp., Comstock Park, Concord, Coopersville, Dansville, Davison, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Detroit, Dewitt, Dexter, Dimondale, Drayton Plains, Dundee, East Grand Rapids, East Lansing, East Tawas, Eastpointe, Eaton Rapids, Ecorse, Edenville, Edmore, Elberta, Elk Rapids, Elkton, Ellsworth, Empire, Erie, Estral Beach, Evart, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Farwell, Ferndale, Ferrysburg, Fife Lake, Flat Rock, Flint, Fowler, Fowlerville, Frankenmuth, Frankfort, Franklin, Fraser, Galesburg, Garden City, Genesee, Gibraltar, Gladwin, Grand Haven, Grand Ledge, Grand Rapids, Grandville, Grass Lake, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Woods, Hamtramck, Hanover, Harbor Beach, Harper Woods, Harrison, Harrison Township, Haslett, Hazel Park, Higgins Lake, Highland Park, Holland, Holly, Holt, Honor, Howell, Howell, Hudsonville, Huntington Woods, Ida, Inkster, Interlochen, Jackson, Jamestown, Kalamazoo, Kalkaska, Kawkawlin, Keego Harbor, Kent City, Kentwood, Kinde, Kingsley, La Salle, Laingsburg, Lake Ann, Lake Orion, Lansing, Lathrup Village, Leonard, Leslie, Lincoln Park, Linwood, Livonia, Lowell, Luna Pier, Macomb, Madison Heights, Mancelona, Manchester, Marlette, Mason, Mattawan, Maybee, Melvindale, Memphis, Midland, Milan, Milford, Monroe, Mount Clemens, Mt. Pleasant, National City, New Baltimore, New Boston, New Haven, New Lothrop, Northport, Northville, Novi, Oak Park, Oakland, Okemos, Old Mission, Olivet, Onondaga, Orchard Lake, Ortonville, Oscoda, Otsego, Ottawa Lake, Ovid, Owosso, Oxford, Parma, Paw Paw, Perry, Petersburg, Pinckney, Pinconning, Plainwell, Pleasant Ridge, Plymouth, Plymouth Township, Pontiac, Portage, Potterville, Rapid City, Redford, Reese, Remus, Richland, Richmond, River Rouge, River Rouge, Riverview, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Rockford, Rockwood, Romeo, Romulus, Roscommon, Rosebush, Roseville, Royal Oak, Saginaw, Saint Clair Shores, Saint Johns, Saint Louis, Saline, Samaria, Sand Lake, Schoolcraft, Shepherd, South Boardman, South Branch, South Lyon, South Rockwood, Southfield, Southgate, Sparta, Spring Lake, Springport, Stanwood, Sterling Heights, Stockbridge, Suttons Bay, Swartz Creek, Sylvan Lake, Tawas City, Taylor, Thompsonville, Traverse City, Trenton, Troy, Tuscola, Ubly, Union Lake, University Center, Utica, Vassar, Vicksburg, Walker, Walled Lake, Warren, Waterford, Wayne, Weidman, West Bloomfield, West Branch, West Olive, Westland, White Lake, Whitmore Lake, Williamsburg, Williamston, Wixom, Wolverine Lake, Woodhaven, Wyandotte, Wyoming, Ypsilanti, Zeeland

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