Cassin’s Finches

The Cassin’s Finch, Carpodacus cassinii, is a medium-sized finch that was named after John Cassin – a former curator at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.


They are found in the coniferous forests in mountains of western North America.

Birds from Canada migrate south while others are permanent residents. They move to lower elevations in winter.

They nest in a large conifer.

  • Average clutch size: 4 to 6 eggs
  • Incubation: 12 to 14 days


Adults average 15 cm (6 in) in length. They have a short forked brown tail and brown wings. They have a longer bill than the Purple Finch.

Adult males are raspberry red on the head, breast, back and rump; their back and undertail are streaked.

Adult females have light brown upperparts and light underparts with brown streaks throughout; their facial markings are less distinct than those of the female Purple Finch.

Diet / Feeding:

They forage in trees, sometimes in ground vegetation – mainly eating seeds, buds and berries, some insects. When not nesting, they often feed in small flocks.

Cassin's Finches

Further Finch Reading

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