Carpodacus cassinii


The closely related Cassin's, House, and Purple finches are each found in different altitudes and habitats. The Cassin's is typically found in the mountains at higher altitudes. These finches are accomplished mimics, often adding phrases from Red Crossbills, Pine Siskins, Northern Flickers, and Steller's Jays to their songs.


General: 6 inches in length.

Male: Large finch. Back and wings are pale gray-brown with dark streaks. Whitish belly with lightly streaked sides. Purplish-red head, breast, and rump. The crown is a distinctly brighter red than the remainder of the head. Cheeks are striped with brown. Large, fairly straight, conical bill. White eyering. Short, forked tail. Streaked undertail coverts.

Female: Brown head and body with heavily streaked underparts. Brown crown and cheek patch contrasts with pale supercilium and malar streak.


Coniferous forests, riparian woodlands and parks.


4-5 blue-green eggs with dark brown spots. The eggs have a 12-14 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 14 days. The nest is an open cup made from twigs and rootlets. The nest is usually built in a conifer.

Observed Locations:

  • "The Drip", Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma

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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.