Carpodacus cassinii
(Cassin's Finch)

Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Fringillidae
Family Description: Finches, Crossbills, and Grosbeaks

Physical Description:
6-6 1/2" (15-17 cm). Red head and red and brown streaked back and wings. Light buffClick word for definition below with no streaking. Females are gray-brown above with white streaking and white below with gray-brown streaking.

Similar Species- Purple Finch, House Finch

Warbling song ending in a 2-3 note ascending scale. Calls a tcher-werp.

Breeds from southern interior British Columbia, extreme southwestern Alberta, Montana, and northern Wyoming, south to portions of California, southern Nevada, northern Arizona and northern New Mexico. Winters mainly from southern British Columbia, northwestern Montana, and eastern Wyoming, south to northern Baja California, southern Arizona, and central Mexico.

Found in open, montane coniferousClick word for definition forests at higher elevations. During migration and in winter, also found in deciduousClick word for definition woodlands, second growth, scrub, brushy areas, partly-open situations with scattered trees, and occasionally in suburbs near mountains. Idaho study found Cassin's Finches responded positively in number to diameter-cut logging.

Eats seeds and buds of plants, insects, and berries.

Forages on ground, or takes food from foliage. Builds cup-shaped nest in tree, frequently near end of large limb. Male defends zone around female during breeding period; female is more attached to particular site than is male. Individuals are usually seen in flocksClick word for definition, except during nesting season. Often seen in association with crossbills and Evening Grosbeaks.

Female incubatesClick word for definition 3-6 eggs (usually 4-5), for about 12-14 days. Young are tended by both adults, and first breed as yearlingsClick word for definition in some areas, and at 2 yr in other areas.

Element Code: ABPBY04030
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5

Important State References:
Medin, D.E. 1985. Breeding bird responses to diameter-cut logging in west-central Idaho. USDA Forest Service Inter. Res. Sta. Res. Paper INT-355, Boise. 12pp.

Photo byC. Trost,© 1998-9
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.