Most people who have noticed birds have seen a finch of some kind. The House Finch originated in the western United States and Mexico. In the 1940’s, because they were considered pretty, a small number of them were released on Long Island in New York. They quickly started breeding and spread across almost all of the eastern United States and southern Canada within 50 years, they are now seen throughout America and Mexico. Scientists now believe there are between 267 million to 1.4 billion individuals.
You may see House Finches in parks, urban areas, farms, forest edges, and they are also abundant at feeders. This bird is brown streaked all over, the male head, neck, and shoulders are usually red, sometimes the color can extend to the belly and down the back. Adult females are brown streaked. The red of the male comes from pigments contained in food, such as berries and fruit, eaten during molt. That is why sometimes the males are orange or yellowish, rather than red, this is rare. These birds may be referred to as orange-variant or yellow-variant. Females prefer the mate with the reddest male she can find.