There are many finches that have red heads, and it can be challenging to know which is which. That’s where this guide comes in to help.
If you need help identifying finches with red heads in North America, then you have come to the right place. Get photos, identification help, bird calls, and what you need to know about where you might spot them and at what time of year.
All this information will really help you to identify those finches with red heads. So take a look and see if you can spot the bird you are looking for.
9 Finches With Red Heads:
1. House Finch
House Finches are another bird with a red head and breast in the males and brown-streaked coloring in the females.
- Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm)
- Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz (16-27 g)
- Wingspan: 7.9-9.8 in (20-25 cm)
Originally only in western states, it was introduced to the eastern states and has done very well, even pushing out the Purple Finch.
They can be found in parks, farms, forest edges, and backyard feeders. They can be found in noisy groups that are hard to miss.
You can attract more House Finches to backyard feeders with black oil sunflower seeds or nyjer seeds in tube feeders or platform feeders.
2. Purple Finch
Purple Finches look very similar to House Finch with the reddish-purple head and breast with more brown on the back and wings.
- Length: 4.7-6.3 in (12-16 cm)
- Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz (18-32 g)
- Wingspan: 8.7-10.2 in (22-26 cm)
They breed in Canada and overwinter in eastern states but can be found all year on the north-east are Pacific coast.
You can spot them in evergreen forests feeding on seeds but also buds, nectar, and berries.
They readily come to feeders for black oil sunflower seeds.
3. Common Redpoll
Common Redpolls have red foreheads, pinky breasts, and brown and white over the rest of their bodies.
- Acanthis flammea
- Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
- Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz (11-20 g)
- Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)
They can be found in winter in northern states and less frequently in central states.
In winter, they will sometimes tunnel into the snow to stay warm during the night. They can eat up to 42% of their body mass every day and can store up to 2 grams of seeds in a stretchy park of their esophagus.
They can be found in weedy fields or feeding on catkins in trees, but they will also come to feeders for small seeds such as nyjer seeds or thistle.
4. Red Crossbill
Red Crossbill males are red birds with darker wings and tails. Females are yellow and brown.
They can be found year-round in northern and western states and in winter in eastern states.
They feed on conifer seeds and forage in flocks from tree to tree, even breaking unopened cones with their powerful beaks. As well as coniferous forests, they can be found along roadsides consuming grit in the mornings.
5. Cassin’s Finch
Cassin’s Finches have a red crown, rosy pink head and are red-breasted with a whiteish belly and brown back and wings.
- Length: 6.3 in (16 cm)
- Weight: 0.8-1.2 oz (24-34 g)
- Wingspan: 9.8-10.6 in (25-27 cm)
They can be found in mountain forests in western states, foraging in flocks for seeds.
They are not as common in backyards as House or Purple Finches, but they may be attracted by sunflower seed feeders, especially in winter, or fruiting shrubs such as cotoneaster, mulberries, firethorn, grape, and apple.
6. Pine Grosbeak
Pine Grosbeaks are a species of finch. The males are red birds with gray on the wings and tail and two white wingbars. Females are gray with dull orange heads and rumps. They are large for finches and relatively slow.
- Pinicola enucleator
- Length: 7.9-9.8 in (20-25 cm)
- Wingspan: 13.0 in (33 cm)
Pine Grosbeaks are mostly found in Canada, but some can be spotted along the US border, the mountainous west, and the Sierra Nevada in California.
They live in forests of pine, spruce, and fir, feeding on seeds, fruit, and buds from these trees. They will also eat some insects in the summer.
You can attract Pine Grosbeaks to black oil sunflower seed feeders or suet feeders.
7. White-winged Crossbill
White-winged Crossbills are finches with heavy crossed beaks. Males are red birds with black wings and tails and two white wingbars. Females are yellow and brown and with two white wing bars.
- Loxia leucoptera
- Length: 5.9-6.7 in (15-17 cm)
- Weight: 0.8-0.9 oz (24-26 g)
- Wingspan: 10.2-11.0 in (26-28 cm)
White-winged Crossbills live in forests in Canada, Alaska, and sometimes northern US states when cone crops are poor further north. They can be found in spruce forests feeding on seeds.
Unusually these birds breed at any time of year as long as there is enough food.
They can often be heard in large flocks.
8. Hoary Redpoll
Hoary Redpolls are small and hardy birds. Adults are generally white and have a red patch on their foreheads. Adult males have a pinkish chest while adult females don’t.
Females do have more streaks on their bellies compared to males. Juveniles look entirely different, having no red patch on their forehead and are mostly gray with a lot of streaking on their body.
- Acanthis hornemanni
- Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
- Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz (11-20 g)
- Wingspan: 8.5-9.25 in (22-23 cm)
Hoary Redpolls breed in the arctic and move short distances south in winter.
You can find Hoary Redpolls in sheltered tundra birch forests and open subarctic evergreen forests in the summer. Winters bring them closer to towns and villages, in open woodland, scrub, and weedy fields. They feed on seeds of alder and birch trees and on insects.
Hoary Redpoll Song:
Nests of Hoary Redpoll are hidden in the hollows of trees, crevices of rocky areas, and within dense shrubs. The nest is made from twigs, grass, and rootlets and cushioned with soft grass feathers and animal hair. They lay around five eggs which take around ten days to hatch. The young leave the nest in about two weeks.
Fun Fact: If the temperature in their environment becomes too warm, Hoary Redpoll may pluck out some of its body feathers. Don’t worry, they grow back.
9. Common Rosefinch
Common Rosefinch males are bright red on the head, breast, and rump and brown with hints of red over the rest of the body.
- Carpodacus erythrinus
- Length: 5.8 in (15 cm)
- Weight: 0.8 oz (23 g)
- Wingspan: 9.5 in (24 cm)
Common Rosefinches are rarely seen in North America as they are usually from Europe and Asia. However, they have been seen mainly on the western edge of Alaska in summer.
Common Rosefinch Song:
Nests of Common Rosefinches are often made of grass, weeds, roots, and animal hair. You will find them low to the ground. Females usually lay between three to six eggs, and they take about two weeks to hatch.
Attract Common Rosefinches to your backyards by offering seeds, peanuts, and fruit.
Fun Fact: Common Rosefinches are also known as Scarlet Rosefinches because of their reddish color.