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Types of Birds
Twenty three finch species (Fringillidae family), sorted into ten genera, including Redpols, Grosbeaks and Siskins inhabit North American fields, forests and residential areas.
Popular since the days of Darwin, the colorful feathers and mild tenement of native species make them popular visitors to back yard feeders.
Colorful feathers also once made two native finch, the American Goldfinch and the House Finch, popular in the American pet trade market.
Today birders make due by inviting finch species to their back yards. Providing both thistle and larger seeds such as sunflower seeds in separate feeders helps attract a wider array of local finch species.
The term goldfinch often refers specifically to the five Spinus species, including the popular American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) pictured at the top of the page.
Iowa (1933 Eastern Goldfinch), New Jersey (1935 Eastern Goldfinch), and Washington (1951 after a twenty three year competition with the meadowlark), designate it as their state bird.
Different shades of red and purple feathers provide many of the Redpol and Grosebeak species a stark physical contrast with the Spinus species.
The four North American Carpodacus species, including the House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) in picture two, ranks it as the second most diverse goldfinch genera.
The presence of red feathers often serves as the initial field ID clue for Carpodacus males, including male house finch.
As noted, all Fringillidae species share an appetite for seeds, with flocks of wandering birds following harvests throughout a season. Occasionally Fringillidae consume insects to supplement their diet.
© 2009-2012. Patricia A. Michaels