House Finch
(Haemorhous mexicanus)

Summary

Picture of bird
© Dan Busby
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The House Finch spread naturally into British Columbia in 1935 from its native range in the western United States (Edwards and Stirling 1961). An introduction to Long Island, New York in 1940 resulted in another range expansion throughout eastern North America (Badyaev et al. 2012), and the species is now found more or less across southern Canada, having reached Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes in the 1970s, and parts of the southern prairies in the 1980s and 1990s. Results of the Breeding Bird Survey in Canada reflect this range expansion indicating a 77% increase in abundance relative to 1970.

Designations

Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaModerate IncreaseHighAt an Acceptable Level
 

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada500,000 - 1,000,000 adults
 

Distribution maps

 

Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population
CanadaLow

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between early April and late April and ends in late July, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.
 

Conservation and management

House Finches have benefitted from human alterations to the landscape and are closely tied to human-altered habitats (Badyaev et al. 2012) in Canada, from rural farms, orchards and vineyards to urban city landscapes, especially in the eastern populations. They can cause damage in orchards by eating blossoms, but generally the impact is low (Badyaev et al. 2012). Significant numbers of House Finches on the Pacific coast population suffer from avian pox (Badyaev et al. 2012), while mycoplasmal conjunctivitis has spread rapidly through the eastern populations; the latter disease may have caused population declines at the northern edge of the species' range (Badyaev et al. 2012), but the large increase in the national population indicates the disease has not had a long-term effect on the population in Canada.

 

Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
NoneNone
 

References