A Cassin’s Finch is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Cassin’s Finches. We have also put together a list of fun Cassin’s Finch t-shirts, Cassin’s Finch bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.
About Cassin’s Finches
Even though slightly larger and longer-billed than the purple finch and the house finch, Cassin’s Finches are unknown to many and thrive in mountains and coniferous forests found in the west. They sometimes favor high elevation areas, especially in the late summer. The rollicking songs of the males often include imitations of calls of other birds. Some of their distinctive features include:
Description and Identification
Like other finches, Cassin’s Finches possess a notched tail which is covered with brown-rusty
feathers. Males and females can be easily distinguished as they are highly sexually dimorphic.
Males have streaked brown plumage along with a pinkish overwash on their upper parts. Their
underparts feature white plumage along with a pink-washed neck, along with light pink color
extending to the breasts. The distinguishable feature of male Cassin’s Finches is their brightly
colored crowns. They sport bright pinkish-red plumage on their crowns surrounded by pale
areas other parts of the head, making the crown stand out. The females possess a majority
of brown and white plumage, with brown-streaked upperparts and pale underparts. Unlike the
males, they do not feature any bright colors on their bodies. Adult Cassin’s Finches grow to an
average of 6.3 inches in length and weigh between 0.8-1.2oz.
Cassin’s Finch Color Pattern
The adult Cassin’s finches are entirely rosy pink with the most pronounced part being the crown. The females and juveniles are primarily brown-white with dark streaks on the underparts and chest. The females and the males have a white eyering that is not present in the juveniles.
Cassin’s Finch Size
These small songbirds have peaked heads, short-medium notched tails, and heavy-slightly long bills. They have long wings compared to other finches.
The relative size of both sexes
- Length range: 6.3 in (16 cm)
- Weight: 0.8-1.2 oz (24-34 g)
- Wingspan range: 9.8 -10.6 in (25-27 cm)
Cassin’s Finch Behavior
They forage on treetops especially in winter when the ground is covered with snow. During feeding, they can mix with other species such as siskins. They can also feed on weedy growth slightly above the ground and rarely on the ground. They change their breeding grounds after each year whereby they nest in small colonies. The males rarely defend the nest but stay close to the females.
Cassin’s Finch Food
The diets of Cassin’s Finches consist mainly of vegetarian material. They typically feed on
seeds and berries and are known to feed on small fruits from time to time. Their foods of choice include seeds of various trees, mainly coniferous, buds of similar trees, berries, and small fruits
found in and around their locality. In case of unavailability of seeds, berries, and fruits, they feed
on small insects. They mostly forage on trees and seldom do so on land.
Their diet comprises buds, seeds, and berries. They eat buds of numerous plants such as cottonwood and quacking aspen buds. They also pull out seeds of various trees especially the conifers. Cassin’s Finches also feed on small fruits when available. During summer, their diet can also include insects.
Cassin’s Finch Habitat
Cassin’s Finches typically inhabit coniferous trees and forests of the west during the winters and
can occasionally be spotted in the southern plains during the summers and open woods in the
lowlands during the winters. Their trees of choice in the coniferous forests include fir, spruce,
Douglas fir, and pinyon-juniper woods. They are also known to inhabit mid-elevation Ponderosa
They predominantly breed in conifer forests consisting of pine, fir, spruce, and Douglas-fir. A few Cassin’s Finches breed in sagebrush shrubland. They winter downhill and lower elevation areas such as Baja California.
Range and Migration
Cassin’s Finches are natives of North and Central America, inhabiting the central and western
parts of the continent. In the northern United States, they can be found in the states of Washington,
Montana, Idaho, and Oregon. In the central and western parts of the country, they can be found
in states such as California, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, going south towards Arizona and New
Mexico. Cassin’s Finches are also natives of parts of Canada in the north and Mexico in the
South. In Canada, they are inhabitants of the state of British Columbia and parts of Alberta. In
Mexico, they can be found in Chihuahua and Durango. Cassin’s Finches are nomadic birds and
may not inhabit the same locality for long periods of time. They are known to winter in the south
and nest in the northern parts of the continent.
Cassin’s Finch Lifecycle
The females lay 4-5 eggs and incubate them for 12-14 days. The male feeds the incubating female. Hatchlings are tended to by both parents and leave the nest after 2 weeks.
Cassin’s Finch Nesting
The nesting location can vary from year to year depending on their area of preference for
inhabitation that particular year. The males do not display extreme territorial behavior and carry
out the minimum required defending. The nests are typically constructed on higher elevation levels.
Higher branches of coniferous trees are usually the preferred locations for building nests. The
nests are constructed by the females and are open cup-like structures. After the construction of
the nest, females lay between 3-5 eggs and incubates them for a period of 12-14 days.
Hatchlings typically leave the nest at 2 weeks old.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Cassin’s Finchs
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Cassin’s Finches are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Cassin’s Finch T-shirts
If you love the Cassin’s Finch you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Cassin’s Finch Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Cassin’s Finch is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Cassin’s Finch Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Cassin’s Finch. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Cassin’s Finches
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Cassin’s Finches
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.