10 Finches in Michigan With Pictures
1. House Finch
Michigan’s Welcoming Resident
The charming House Finch, scientifically known as Haemorhous mexicanus, is a delightful, small songbird that calls Michigan its home. Recognizable by its brown-streaked plumage, these finches have become a common sight in urban areas across the state. Here’s what you need to know about the House Finch:
- Size: Approximately 5.5 inches
- Color: Males have a red crown, throat, and eyebrow stripe; females are more subdued with streaked brown plumage.
- Beak: Conical and adapted for seed consumption.
House Finches have adapted well to urban and suburban environments. You’ll find them nesting in trees, ledges, eaves, and even hanging flower baskets.
House Finches are granivores, primarily feeding on seeds. Bird feeders with sunflower seeds or nyjer seeds are great for attracting them to your backyard.
House Finches are not native to Michigan. They were introduced from the western U.S. in the 1940s, making them a non-native species.
2. Purple Finch
The Majestic Melodist
Purple Finches (Haemorhous purpureus) are a captivating species that visit Michigan during their breeding season. With their rich plumage and enchanting songs, they add a touch of elegance to the state’s birdlife.
- Size: Around 6 inches
- Color: Males have a rosy-red crown, throat, and breast; females are brown and heavily streaked.
- Beak: Conical like other finches.
Look for Purple Finches in coniferous and mixed woodlands, particularly during the breeding season.
These finches have a varied diet, including seeds, fruits, and insects. They are attracted to sunflower seeds, berries, and flowering trees.
Purple Finches are known for their melancholic and beautiful songs. They are often mistaken for the closely related House Finch due to their similar appearance.
3. Common Redpoll
The Arctic Visitor
The Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea) is a winter visitor to 10 Finches in Michigan, especially the northern regions. Their appearance brings a touch of the Arctic to the state.
- Size: Approximately 5 inches
- Color: Males have a pink wash on the breast and a red forehead; females are more subdued with streaked brown plumage.
- Beak: Small and pointed for extracting seeds from plants.
During the winter, Common Redpolls are often found in weedy fields and open woodlands, where they forage for seeds.
These finches primarily feed on birch and alder seeds, as well as thistle seeds. A Nyjer seed feeder can attract them to your backyard.
Common Redpolls have the ability to survive extremely cold temperatures, thanks to their remarkable adaptation to harsh Arctic conditions.
4. Hoary Redpoll (Arctic Redpoll)
The Icy Nomad
The Hoary Redpoll (Acanthis hornemanni) is a close relative of the Common Redpoll, but it’s much rarer in 10 Finches in Michigan. Its appearance is a true testament to the frigid Arctic it hails from.
- Size: Slightly smaller than the Common Redpoll
- Color: Males have a paler and frostier appearance, with white plumage and fewer streaks.
- Beak: Suited for seed extraction.
Hoary Redpolls share their habitat with Common Redpolls, favoring the same environments during the winter months.
Their diet is similar to Common Redpolls, focused on seeds from birch and alder trees.
The Hoary Redpoll’s pale appearance is an adaptation to the extreme cold of its Arctic home.
5. Red Crossbill (Common Crossbill)
The Beak Adapted Specialist
The Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) is known for its peculiar crossed bill, an adaptation that allows it to extract seeds from conifer cones with remarkable precision.
- Size: About 6.5 inches
- Color: Males are brick-red, and females are more subdued with greenish-brown plumage.
- Beak: Uniquely crossed at the tip, allowing them to access conifer seeds.
Red Crossbills are often found in coniferous forests, where they feed on seeds within pine, spruce, and fir cones.
Their specialized bill is designed for one thing: prying open conifer cones to access the seeds inside.
Red Crossbills are known for their nomadic behavior, following the cone crops of conifer trees across their range.
6. White-Winged Crossbill (Two-Barred Crossbill)
The Northern Specialist
The White-Winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera) is another finch species that specializes in foraging for conifer seeds, but it has distinct features that set it apart from the Red Crossbill.
- Size: Slightly smaller than the Red Crossbill
- Color: Males have bright red plumage with white wing bars, while females are brown and streaked.
- Beak: Crossed, similar to the Red Crossbill, but more slender.
White-winged crossbills inhabit coniferous forests, similar to Red Crossbills, often associated with spruce trees.
Just like their relatives, they use their crossed bill to access conifer seeds, making them a vital part of these ecosystems.
Their unique bill structure is a superb example of nature’s adaptation to specific food sources.
7. Pine Siskin
The Tiny Fluffball
Pine Siskins (Spinus pinus) are small finches with a penchant for hanging upside down while feeding. These charming birds are a welcome sight in Michigan.
- Size: About 4.5 inches
- Color: Heavily streaked brown plumage with subtle yellow wing bars and a pointed beak.
- Beak: Slender and pointed, ideal for extracting seeds from cones.
Pine Siskins can be found in a variety of habitats, from coniferous forests to urban backyards, especially during irruption years when food is scarce up north.
Their diet primarily consists of seeds, especially from pine cones and thistle plants. Hanging tube feeders are perfect for attracting Pine Siskins.
Pine Siskins are known for their nomadic behavior, often traveling great distances in search of food.
8. American Goldfinch
The Sunny Songster
The American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) is perhaps one of the most iconic finches in Michigan, known for its vibrant plumage and cheerful songs.
- Size: About 5 inches
- Color: Bright yellow males in the summer, olive green in the winter; females are more subdued with olive-brown plumage.
- Beak: Small and pointed for seed consumption.
These finches can be found in a variety of habitats, from grasslands to backyards and gardens.
American Goldfinches are seed-eaters, with a particular fondness for thistle seeds. Planting thistle plants in your garden can attract them.
They are the only finch species in North America that molts twice a year, changing from bright yellow in the summer to olive green in the winter.
9. Evening Grosbeak
The Colorful Nomad
The Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus) is a striking finch with a colorful plumage that stands out among its more subdued relatives.
- Size: Larger than most finches, about 7.5 inches
- Color: Males have bright yellow plumage with striking black and white markings; females are more muted with brownish plumage.
- Beak: Conical and very large, adapted for cracking seeds.
Evening Grosbeaks are often found in coniferous and mixed forests, especially in the northern parts of Michigan.
They have a varied diet, including seeds, fruits, and insects. Sunflower seeds are a favorite at bird feeders.
Evening Grosbeaks are known for their nomadic behavior, and their visits to Michigan can be sporadic.
10. Pine Grosbeak
The Northern Visitor
The Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) is a delightful finch with a penchant for feasting on fruits, making it a unique member of the finch family.
- Size: Larger than the House Finch, about 8 inches
- Color: Males have rosy-red plumage; females are more subdued with grayish-brown plumage.
- Beak: Conical and adapted for eating fruits.
Pine Grosbeaks are often found in northern coniferous forests, where they forage for fruits and seeds.
Their diet includes a wide variety of fruits, especially berries and the seeds they contain.
Pine Grosbeaks are adapted to cold climates, with a special mechanism in their bills that allows them to eat frozen fruits.
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FAQ’s about 10 Finches in Michigan:-
Q1: Do finches live in Michigan?
Yes, several finch species call Michigan home, while others visit during different seasons.
Q2: Are there yellow finches in Michigan?
Yes, the American Goldfinch is a common yellow finch in Michigan.
Q3: What bird is Michigan known for?
Michigan is known for a variety of birds, but the American Robin is a popular state bird.
Q4: What is the most common finch?
The House Finch is one of the most common finch species in Michigan.
Q5: What do Michigan finches look like?
Michigan finches come in various colors, from the bright yellow American Goldfinch to the streaked brown House Finch.
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Final Thoughts of 10 Finches in Michigan:
Michigan is a haven for finch enthusiasts, with a diverse array of these charming birds visiting or residing in the state. Whether you’re a birdwatcher or simply enjoy the melodies of these feathered friends in your backyard, Michigan’s finch population offers something for everyone. So, set up your bird feeders, grab your binoculars, and get ready to enjoy the fascinating world of finches in Michigan.
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