Backyard Birds

Cassin’s Finches

The Cassin’s finches (Haemorhous cassinii), is a medium-sized finch that was named after John Cassin – a former curator at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.


They are found in the coniferous forests in the mountains of western North America.

Birds from Canada migrate south while others are permanent residents. They move to lower elevations in winter.

They nest in a large conifer.

  • Average clutch size: 4 to 6 eggs
  • Incubation: 12 to 14 days


Adults average 15 cm (6 in) in length. They have short forked brown tails 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 undertail 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.

Diet / Feeding:

The Cassin’s finches forage in trees, sometimes in ground vegetation – mainly eating seeds, buds, and berries, and some insects. When not nesting, they often feed in small flocks.

Further Finch Reading


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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