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House Finch, Cassin's Finch, or Pine Siskin?


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This is actually a house finch. Notice the thick bill with a curved culmen as opposed to the thin bill on a Pine Siskin. Cassin's Finch would be way out of range in Pennsylvania, Purple Finch would be your expected species, and notice the lack of a white eyebrow, ruling that species out.

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12 hours ago, Hernan said:

Hi Benjamin, awesome, thanks. Why does it look different to the typical house finches around here? Most of them have some red feathers and are way less rugged. Is it a juvenile one maybe? Male, female?

Yes, this appears to be a recent fledgling.  I'm sorry that I can't say exactly why I feel that way.  Maybe a little more roundness to the head?  Either way, it gives me the same vibes as the young ones I see in my  backyard begging from their parents (and being ignored).

As to the red feathers, only adult males House Finches have them; females and immature males don't.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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  • 1 year later...

Pine Siskin and House Finch have quite a few similarities, and I often get confused between them. But after seeing some guidelines on the difference between these two types of birds, I can now tell them apart easily. I also want to share this guide with those who need it. In terms of appearance, house sparrows are slightly larger than pine sparrows, and they have very unique colors that can be red, orange, or even yellow. While pine siskins are less eye-catching, they are brown and streaked (light brown with dark brown streaks). Its breast and throat are mostly white, but with brown streaks.

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2 hours ago, SteveEarsom said:

Pine Siskin and House Finch have quite a few similarities, and I often get confused between them. But after seeing some guidelines on the difference between these two types of birds, I can now tell them apart easily. I also want to share this guide with those who need it. In terms of appearance, house sparrows are slightly larger than pine sparrows, and they have very unique colors that can be red, orange, or even yellow. While pine siskins are less eye-catching, they are brown and streaked (light brown with dark brown streaks). Its breast and throat are mostly white, but with brown streaks.

Please try not to revisit posts over a year old. Even if the post is a few days old or a week or so, if it’s already been identified, leave it. Mostly look at ones from that day or a few days ago.  Thank you for your understanding! 

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