I almost wrote this post about purple finches! Glad I looked into these guys a bit more, they really look alike.
The red color of the male house finch develops from pigments in the food consumed during his molt period (birds can’t make bright red or yellow colors directly). The more pigment in the food, the redder the male. Lack of pigment can cause orange or yellowish males. Females generally prefer to mate with the reddest male.
House finches are monogamous birds. To catch the eye of his ladylove, males soar to great heights, and then gracefully, flutter to a perch, while singing as loud as they can. This is known as butterfly flight.
House finches feed their nestlings exclusively plant foods, a rare thing in the bird world. Many birds that are vegetarians as adults still find animal foods to augment their fast-growing young’s diet with protein.
© Ilex Farrell