13 Species of Finches in Ohio (Pictures and Info)


Finches in Ohio

Found across America, Africa, and Eurasia, the family of Finches consists of small, passerine birds with conical bills and brightly-colored plumage. There are about 200 different species of Finches in the world, including siskins, grosbeaks, crossbills, canaries, siskins, redpolls, etc.

In the state of Ohio, you can find around 13 species of Finches. Today, we will learn more about how to recognize these Finches.

 

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

Scientific name – Spinus tristis
Body length – 11-15 centimeters (4.3-5.5 inches)
Weight – 11-20 grams (0.39-0.71 ounces)
Wingspan – 19-22 centimeters (7.5-8.7 inches)
Lifespan – about 6-8 years
Diet – granivore
Conservation status – least concern

Native to North America, the American Goldfinches are small, migratory birds that belong to the subfamily of the Cardueline Finches.

Description: American Goldfinches have a small body with a conical bill that is pink throughout the year but turns orange in the spring. They are sexually dimorphic birds wherein the males have bright yellow plumage with a white rump and a jet-black cap. On the other hand, the body of the females is brown, with paler undersides and a yellow bib. The wings and tails are black in the males and brown in the females.

Range: American Goldfinches prefer to nest in areas where there is an abundance of weeds, such as flood plains, meadows, orchards, and fields. You can also find them in the deciduous and riparian woodlands, though they are less common in these areas. During winter, they migrate to southern Canada and parts of Mexico.

Fun facts: The American Goldfinches are the only members of the sub-family of the Cardueline Finches that undergo a complete molt twice in a year.

 

Red Crossbill

Red Crossbill

Scientific name – Loxia curvirostra
Body length – about 20 centimeters (7.87 inches)
Weight – 40-53 grams (1.41-1.84 ounces)
Wingspan – 27-29 centimeters (10.6-11.4 inches)
Lifespan – about 2-5 years
Diet – granivore
Conservation status – least concern

The Red Crossbills are small passerine birds of the finch family with bills that cross each other at the edge. In EurosiberiaOpens in a new tab., they are known as “Common crossbills”.

Description: Red Crossbills display sexual dimorphism. The males have a plumage ranging between red to orange, while the females have a green-to-yellow body. Their unique mandibles come in handy while separating the scales of the conifer cones to pull out and eat the seeds inside.

Range: Although the Red Crossbills primarily inhabit the spruce forests of North America, you can occasionally find them nesting in the pine forests as well. They are non-migratory in nature, moving southwards only when they face a scarcity of food.

 

Hoary Redpoll

Hoary Redpoll

Scientific name – Acanthis hornemanni
Body length – 12-14 centimeters (4.7-5.5 inches)
Weight – 12-16 grams (0.42-0.56 ounces)
Wingspan – 20-25 centimeters (7.8-9.8 inches)
Lifespan – 2-3 years
Diet – granivore
Conservation status – least concern

Widely known as “Arctic redpoll”, the Hoary Redpoll are small cardueline finches that are closely related to the Common Redpolls.

Description – Although both sexes of the Hoary Redpolls have a pale body, the males are paler, and are, thus, often described as “snowballs” in the Palearctic. Their plumage is usually grey-brown but occasionally acquires a slightly yellow tone. They have a black bib on their chest, with light-colored stripes on their wings, one on each. You can notice a light orangish patch on their forehead. The female Hoary Redpolls are streaked more heavily than their male counterparts.

Range – Hoary Redpolls are known to breed in the tundra birch forests, and often inhabit the northern regions of North America and the Palearctic. Their species is selectively migratory, with a small population migrating south with the Common Redpolls in the winters.

Fun facts – The body feathers of the Hoary Redpolls are very fluffy to protect them against the harsh climate. Thus, when the temperature of their habitat hikes up, they pluck out some of their body feathers to remain cool.

 

Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch

Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch

Scientific name -Leucosticte tehprocotis
Body length – 140-160 millimeters (5.5-6.3 inches)
Weight – 22-60 grams (0.78-2.12 ounces)
Wingspan – about 33 centimeters (13 inches)
Lifespan – about 6.6 years
Diet – granivore
Conservation status – least concern

Out of all three species of Rosy-Finches found in North America, the Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches are the most widespread across the continent.

Description – Gray-crowned Rosy Finches are medium to large-sized birds that have relatively long wings and a long, notched tail. While their back and breast are brown, their underparts and wings are colored in faded pink. Their head is grey, except for a black forehead and throat.

Range – Gray-crowned Rosy Finches prefer to nest in alpine snowfields, rocky islands, and barren tundra regions. They can be found in Alaska, the United States, and the western parts of Canada. Because their preferred habitats are rarely interrupted by humans, they are one of the least spotted Finches in Ohio.

Fun facts – Inhabiting the slopes on Denali, the highest peak of North America, the Gray-crowned Rosy Finches are considered to be the highest-altitude breeding bird species in the continent.

 

European Goldfinch

European Goldfinch

Scientific name – Carduelis carduelis
Body length – 12-13 centimeters (4.7-5.1 inches)
Weight – 14-19 grams (0.49-0.67 ounces)
Wingspan – 21-25 centimeters (8.3-9.8 inches)
Lifespan – about 8-12 years
Diet – granivore
Conservation status – least concern

Endemic to North America, Europe, and the western and central parts of Asia, the European Goldfinches are small members of the True Finch family.

Description – European Goldfinches display very little sexual dimorphism. Both the sexes have a black and white head with a dark red face, with a black patch in front of their eyes. Their upperparts are covered in a shade of warm brown, while their underparts are white, with buff flanks.

Their wings are black with broad yellow bars on them. When you look at them closely, you will find that the face mask of the males is darker and extend further than that of their female counterparts.

Range – European Goldfinches inhabit open or partially wooded areas and make their nests in the lowlands. The population that inhabits milder regions are non-migratory, while the ones that live in colder regions migrate south during winters. Apart from the annual migration, these goldfinches are also known to make local movements in case of bad weather.

 

Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin

Scientific name – Spinus pinus
Body length – 11-14 centimeters (4.3-5.5 inches)
Weight – 12-18 grams (0.42-0.63 ounces)
Wingspan – 18-22 centimeters (7.1-8.7 inches)
Lifespan – about 5-6 years
Diet – granivore
Conservation status – least concern

Endemic to North America, the Pine Siskins are small finches that are known for their highly-varied migration spots.

Description – Pine Siskins are small-sized birds that lack sexual dimorphism. They have a brown back and pale underparts, both of which are heavily streaked. On their wings and tail are bright yellow patches that can be identified even from a fair distance. They have a short, forked tail, with their bill longer and slenderer than that of the other Finches.

Range – You can find Pine Siskins in the northern regions as well as the western mountains in the United States. Moreover, they also inhabit Alaska and Canada. Although they primarily inhabit conifer forests, they can also be found in meadows, grasslands, lawns, roadsides, and backyard gardens.

Fun facts – Pine Siskins have a peculiar courting ritual. The males fly over their female partners in circles, spreading their wings and tail widely while singing. They also tend to feed the females during courtship.

 

Purple Finch

Purple Finch

Scientific name – Haemorhous purpureus
Body length – 12-16 centimeters (4.7-6.3 inches)
Weight – 18-32 grams (0.6-1.1 ounces)
Wingspan – 22-26 centimeters (8.7-10.2 inches)
Lifespan – about 5-9 years
Diet – granivore
Conservation status – least concern

The Purple Finches are medium-sized birds of the Finch family that were first discovered in 1789 by the German naturalist, Johann Friedrich Gmelin.

Description – Purple Finches have brown wings and a short, brown tail. These birds are sexually dimorphic birds, wherein the head, breast, back, and rump of the males are red with a streaked back. On the other hand, the females have white upperparts with dark brown streaks all over it and a white line right above their eyes.

Range – Purple Finches breed in the coniferous as well as mixed forests of Canada and the United States. They can also be found in the wooded areas of the pacific coast in the US. These birds usually build their nests in the fork or a branch of a tree. The entire population of Purple Finches, except for the ones that live in northern Canada, are non-migratory.

 

Evening Grosbeak

Evening Grosbeak

Scientific name – Coccothraustes vespertinus
Body length – 16-22 centimeters (6.3-8.7 inches)
Weight – 58.7-60 grams (2.07-2.1 ounces)
Wingspan – 30-36 centimeters (12-14 inches)
Lifespan – about 15 years
Diet – granivore
Conservation status – vulnerable

The Evening Grosbeaks are small passerine birds belonging to the family of Finches that are endemic to North America.

Description – Similar to the Eurasian Hawfinch in appearance, the Evening Grosbeaks have a bulky body with black wings, a short, black tail, and a large, pale bill. They display sexual dimorphism, wherein the males have a brown head, a bright yellow forehead and body, and a bold white patch on their wings. On the other hand, the females have an olive-brown body with grey underparts and white wing patches.

Range – Evening Grosbeaks pick the western mountainous areas of the United States as well as of Mexico for breeding, while in Canada, they breed in coniferous and mixed forests. They are migratory in nature, sometimes venturing too far south in the winters.

Fun facts – Unlike other birds that love eating wild cherries, the Evening Grosbeaks are only fond of the inner pit of the fruits. In fact, these birds have special pads on their beak to hold the slippery seeds firmly and eat them.

 

White-Winged Crossbill

White-Winged Crossbill

Scientific name – Loxia leucoptera
Body length – 17 centimeters (6.6 inches)
Weight – 30-40 grams (1.05-1.41 ounces)
Wingspan – 26-29 centimeters (10.2-11.4 inches)
Lifespan – about 4 years
Diet – granivore
Conservation status – least concern

Also known as the “Two-barred crossbill”, the White-winged Crossbills have been named after their two prominent white wing bars, that act as field marks for identifying them.

Description – As with the other crossbills, the White-winged Crossbills, too, have mandibles that cross with each other at the edge. They are medium-sized birds with a short, plump body, and small but sharp bills. These birds display sexual dichromatism, wherein the males have a plumage ranging from red to pinkish in color, while the females have green-to-yellow plumage.

Range – White-winged Crossbills have a large breeding range, and are found in the coniferous forests of Canada, Alaska, the Palearctic, the northernmost part of the United States, as well as north-eastern Europe. Although these birds are not migratory in nature, they are known to move south often in the search of food.

 

Brambling

Brambling

Scientific name – Fringilla montifringilla
Body length – about 16 centimeters (6.2 inches)
Weight – 23-29 grams (0.81-1.02 ounces)
Wingspan – 25-26 centimeters (9.8-10.2 inches)
Lifespan – about 2-5 years
Diet – granivore
Conservation status – least concern

Often referred to as the “mountain finch”, the Bramblings are small passerine birds belonging to the finch family.

Description – Bramblings are quite similar to the Chaffinches in shape and size, except for a few differences. They are sexually dimorphic birds, wherein the males have a black head, a dark back, and a white belly coupled with an orange breast. At the same time, the females, as well as the juveniles, have a less distinct body. Their bills are yellow with dark-spotted flanks.

Range – Bramblings are most widespread during their breeding season, found throughout the forests of the Palearctic and northern Europe. However, during winters, these migratory birds travel to North Africa, the southern regions of Europe, China, Japan, and the northern parts of India and Pakistan. Although they can nest on most trees, birch and coniferous trees are their favorite.

 

House Finch

House Finch

Scientific name – Haemorhous mexicanus
Body length – 12.5-15 centimeters (4.9-5.9 inches)
Weight – 16-27 grams (0.56-0.95 ounces)
Wingspan – 20-25 centimeters (7.9-9.8 inches)
Lifespan – about 9-10 years
Diet – granivore
Conservation status – least concern

Endemic to western North America, the House Finches are small birds belonging to the genus of American Rosefinches.

Description – House Finches have brown upperparts with a hint of grey on their wings, and a long, square-tipped tail. Their underparts have a similar shade with heavy streaking all over them. The trait that includes these birds into the family of Rosefinches can only be seen in the males, often having reddish head, neck, and shoulders. The intensity of the redness varies both with diet as well as with seasons.

Range – Although the House Finches are mostly non-migratory, some of their eastern and northern population tend to travel south during winters. They heavily populate the entire continent of North America.

 

Common Redpoll

Common Redpoll

Scientific name – Acanthis flammea
Body length – 11.5-14 centimeters (4.5-5.5 inches)
Weight – 12-16 grams (0.42-0.56 ounces)
Wingspan – 19-22 centimeters (7.5-8.7 inches)
Lifespan – about 2-3 years
Diet – granivore
Conservation status – least concern

Although they were initially placed in the subfamily of the Cardueline finches, it was only later that the Common Redpolls were included in the genus of the redpolls.

Description – Common Redpolls are small birds with a brownish-grey body covered in dark streaks all over. On their forehead is a bright red patch that sets them apart from the rest of the redpolls. They have two pale stripes on each wing and a small, black bib on their throats. The male Common Redpolls have a patch of red on their breast that the females lack. They have yellow bills with a dark tip and a heavily streaked vent.

Range – Common Redpolls can withstand considerably cold climates, and inhabit the Palearctic and the northern parts of North America. These migratory birds travel south to Canada, Eurasia, and northern parts of the United States in winters. However, their movement is more inspired by the scarcity of food than the dropping temperature.

 

Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak

Scientific name – Pinicola enucleator
Body length – 20-25.5 centimeters (7.9-10 inches)
Weight – 52-78 grams (1.8-2.8 ounces)
Wingspan – about 33 centimeters (13 inches)
Lifespan – 9.5 years
Diet – granivore, frugivore
Conservation status – least concern

Pine Grosbeaks are one of the largest members of the True Finch family that have been named after their preference of inhabiting pine trees.

Description – Pine Grosbeaks have a large, greyish bill, with black wings consisting of white wing bars, and a long, black forked tail. They are sexually dimorphic birds, wherein the males have a rosy-red spreading over their head, back, and rump. The females, on the other hand, have an olive-yellow head and rump, coupled with grey back and underparts. The juveniles appear somewhat shaggy and have a lesser contrast on their body.

Range – Inhabiting the boreal forests in Eurasia and America, the Pine Grosbeaks don’t like to move much and usually stick to one place throughout the year. Even if they migrate, they travel a short distance towards the south to another boreal forest.

Fun Facts – Unlike other Finches, the Pine Grosbeaks are primarily frugivores and tend to prefer fruits such as crab apples and berries over all kinds of grains.

 

Species of Finches in Ohio (final thoughts)

Now you know which species of Finches can you find in your backyard. Attracting Finches to your backyard feeder is a fairly easy task. You just need to keep a couple of things in mind: adding a source of water to let them drink from and bather in, and planting their favorite flowering plants, such as sunflower, poppy, daisy, cosmos, coneflower, zinnia, etc. Take care of these things, and you’re bound to see finches flocking in.

6 Species of Hummingbirds in Ohio

8 Species of Hawks in Ohio

7 Species of Woodpeckers in Ohio