If you love birds, then Florida should be your next destination. The Sunshine State is home to 10 unique finch species, each with unique characteristics. From the colourful American Goldfinch to the rare Pine Siskin, Florida is a haven for birdwatchers looking to capture stunning photographs or appreciate the beauty of nature. In this article, we will explore all ten species of finches in Florida and provide pictures of each one.
Finches in Florida
Finches in Florida are a common sight for many birdwatchers, as well as residents of the Sunshine State. These small songbirds come in various shapes and sizes and can be found from the northern tip of Florida down to the Keys. Their bright colours, cheerful songs, and inquisitive nature are always a joy to see among trees or shrubs.
|Length||11-15 cm / 4.3-5.5 in|
|Weight||11–20 g / 0.39 -0.71 oz.|
|Wingspan||19–22 cm / 7.5-8.7 in.|
The American Goldfinch (Spinustristis) is a small songbird native to much of North America. This iconic species can be recognized by its bright yellow feathers, black wings, tail, and crown. Males are especially striking in their breeding plumage with a deep orange face, white underparts and black wings barred with white.
Females are plainer in colour but still have the characteristic yellow body. These birds feed primarily on seeds from weeds and other plants and insects provided to nestlings. They will often flock together in large numbers in winter when food sources become scarce.
The American Goldfinch is an essential pollinator for many wildflowers due to their long tongues that can reach the nectar inside some of the most intricate blossoms.
|Length||11-14 cm / 4.3 – 5.5 in|
|Weight||12 – 18 g / 0.42 – 0.63 oz.|
|Wingspan||18 – 22 cm / 7.1 – 8.7 in.|
Pine Siskins (Carduelispinus) are small, sparrow-like songbirds throughout North America. These birds have a distinctive yellow streak on their wings and tail and a light brown body with white stripes along the sides. They have conical bills for cracking open seeds and often flutter rapidly in flight.
Pine Siskins breed in northern Canada and Alaska boreal forests during the summer months and spend their winters further south in the US states of California and Florida.
The birds feed mainly on seeds from trees such as thistle, birch, pine cones and alder; they also eat grains such as oats, millet and sunflower seed. In addition to these food sources, they sometimes take insects or even nectar from flowers.
Purple Finches in Florida
|Length||15.2 cm / 6.0 inches|
|Weight||34 g / 1.2 oz.|
|Wingspan||25.4 cm / 10.0 inches|
The Purple Finch (Haemorhouspurpureus) is a beautiful and colourful bird in North America. This finch species have purple-brown plumage and white patches on its wings and tail feathers. The male has a bright rose-red crown, breast, and rump, while females are generally duller in colouration.
It is native to the eastern half of the United States and southern parts of Canada during the summer months.The Purple Finch feeds mainly on seeds from trees such as spruce, fir, and pine. They can also be seen drinking sap from maple trees or eating insects like caterpillars when they are available.
They often visit backyard bird feeders to obtain food, especially during winter when natural food sources are scarce.
House Finches in Florida
|Length||12 -15 cm / 4.9 – 5.9 in|
|Weight||21 g / 0.74 oz.|
|Wingspan||20-25 cm / 7.9-9.8 in|
The house finch (Haemorhousmexicanus) is a medium-sized passerine bird native to North America’s deserts, forests, and grasslands. It was formerly known as the “Hollywood finch” due to its popularity in pet stores across the country.
The house finch has a unique red colouring on its head, neck, and chest, varying from light pink to deep red in both males and females. Its wings and tail are brown with white ideas, and its underside is pale brown.
House finches feed on grain, weed seeds, fruits, and insects like spiders, caterpillars, and beetles. This species often visits backyard birdfeeders for an easy meal of sunflower seeds or other seed mixes.
|Length||11.5 -13 cm/4.5-5.1 in.|
|Weight||14.5 g (0.51 oz)|
|Wingspan||18-23-25 cm/7.1-9.1 in.|
The Indigo Bunting (Passerinacyanea) is a small colourful songbird found in the United States and Canada. These birds have an overall blue-purple-colored plumage, with males having brighter colouration than females.
During the summer, their songs can often be heard in grasslands, woodlands, and suburban areas. They feed primarily on insects and seeds but consume berries during the migration or in winter when other food sources are scarce.
These birds are highly territorial during the breeding season and will aggressively defend their territories from potential rivals. The male Indigo Buntings display a unique courtship behaviour where they fly high in the sky and repeatedly sing to attract female mates. After mating, both parents build a nest using twigs, grasses, mosses, fur, or feathers as material for lining it up.
|Length||12 -14 cm / 4.7-5.5 in.|
|Weight||13-19 g / 0.46-0.67 oz.|
|Wingspan||21-23 cm / 8.3-9.1 in.|
The Painted Bunting (Passerinaciris) is a strikingly colourful bird found throughout the southeastern United States. This small songbird has a bright red body, blue wings, and yellow head and tail feathers, making it a sight to behold. Unfortunately, this beauty of nature has come under threat due to habitat destruction and trapping for the pet trade.
The Painted Bunting is listed as “Near Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), meaning its population is decreasing significantly. To help preserve this species, conservationists are working on establishing protected areas and providing education programs to discourage illegal trapping.
Increasing awareness about their plight can encourage people to create bird-friendly habitats in their backyards to provide food and shelter for these birds during migration seasons.
|Length||16 -22 cm / 6.3 – 8.7 in.|
|Weight||60 g / 2.1 oz.|
|Wingspan||0-36 cm / 12 – 14 in.|
The Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphonavespertina) is a passerine bird from the finch family. It is native to parts of North and Central America and has been spotted as far south as Nicaragua. The Evening Grosbeak can be identified by its large size, distinctive black, yellow, and white colouring, and cone-shaped bill. They have been seen in most woodland habitats but are especially prevalent in coniferous forests.
Typically, the adult male will have more vivid colours than the females, with males having brighter yellow heads and breasts while females are more brownish on the head and breast area. On average, they measure 9–10 inches long from bill to tail tip and can weigh up to 1 ounce or 29 grams.
European Goldfinches in Florida
|Length||12-13 cm / 4.7 – 5.1 in.|
|Weight||14 – 19 g / 0.49-0.67 oz.|
|Wingspan||21-25 cm / 8.3 – 9.8 in.|
The European goldfinch (Carduelis ) is a small, brightly coloured songbird throughout Europe and Central Asia. This finch species is the only one to be wholly adapted to temperate climates and is considered one of the most common finch species.
This bird has been admired by professional ornithologists and casual bird watchers for its beautiful plumage composed of striking black, yellow, white, and red feathers that adorn its entire body.
The European goldfinch was first formally described by Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus in 1758 and is part of the genus Carduelis, which contains nearly 20 species native to Eurasia. In terms of size, this finch typically measures between 4-5 inches long, with a wingspan averaging around 6-7 inches wide.
|Length||15 cm / 5.5 in.|
|Weight||19 g / 0.61 oz. (Est)|
|Wingspan||25 cm / 8.5 (Est)|
The Cuban Bullfinch (Melopyrrhanigra) is one of the most striking finches in Florida. Native only to this Caribbean island, the species has impressive red plumage with a black head and tail, making it a stunning sight for birdwatchers.
The Cuban Bullfinch is a ground-dweller that prefers secondary forests over primary growth. They have been known to inhabit areas with dense shrubs and thickets, as well as abandoned farms and rural gardens.This small passerine bird mainly feeds on insects and worms but will also eat fruits when available.
During the mating season, they form monogamous pairs that care not only for their hatchlings but also look out for other members of their flock; This act of solidarity makes them easily recognizable amongst other similar species.
Greater Antillean Bullfinch
|Length||16.5 cm / 6.5 in.|
|Weight||22.7 g / 0.8 oz.|
|Wingspan||36 cm / 9.1 Estimated|
The Greater Antillean Bullfinch (Loxigillaviolacea) is a small passerine bird in the Caribbean Islands. This finch species is native to Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. These birds are usually seen in pairs or small groups, feeding on fruits and insects.
The Greater Antillean Bullfinch exhibits a black head with white streaks running down its back and wings towards its tail feathers. It also has a greyish-brown body with white underparts containing yellow patches on the lower flanks.
These birds prefer to live in forests near mountain ranges at elevations between 500 and 1500 meters above sea level. They tend to inhabit areas containing scrublands, secondary-growth forests and cocoa plantations for shelter as well as for finding food sources.
Florida is an excellent place for finch-watching. With its diverse habitats, many finches can be found in the state.
Whether visitors are interested in the colourful American goldfinch or something more exotic such as the Cuban grassquit, Florida has a finch to suit all tastes. Bird watchers will find plenty of places to look, with ten species of finches that call Florida home.
Are finches common in Florida?
Yes, finches in Florida are common. They can be found in various habitats throughout the state, including woodlands, wetlands, and urban areas. Finches are small birds, typically with short, conical bills and bright colours.
The most common finches in Florida are the House Finches. This species can be identified by its reddish-brown head and breast, grey back, and white belly. Other common finch species include the American Goldfinch and the Pine Siskin. These two species are brownish-grey with yellow or white markings on their wings and tails.
How many types of finch species are there?
There are approximately 15 species of finch, which are all members of the family Fringillidae. Finches can be found worldwide but are most abundant in the Northern Hemisphere. Each species of finch has its unique physical characteristics and behaviours. The House Finch, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin, and Common Redpoll are some of the most common finches.