how many types of finch birds are there

The family Fringillidae are the “true” finches. The International Ornithological Committee (IOC) recognizes these 240 species in the family, distributed among three subfamilies and 50 genera. Confusingly, only 78 of the species include “finch” in their common names, and several other families include species called finches. This list includes 18 extinct species, the Bonin grosbeak and 17 Hawaiian honeycreepers; they are marked (X).[1]

This list is presented according to the IOC taxonomic sequence and can also be sorted alphabetically by common name and binomial.

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There are 17 North American finch species. These include crossbills, Evening and Pine Grosbeaks, redpolls, and siskins. The Fringillidae family of birds is characterized by their compact bodies, conical bills, short necks, and large jaw muscles. They also have notched tails, relatively pointed wings, and unique flight calls.

These small to medium-sized birds seem unassuming at first. However, when looked at more closely, their true beauty emerges. Finches truly have it all, from the eye-catching plumages of the three species of goldfinches to the unique and magnificent bills of crossbills and grosbeaks.

While these social birds are relatively conspicuous, they should not be taken for granted: More than half of North Americas finch species are in decline. New Hampshire, for example, is at risk of losing its state bird, the Purple Finch, as rising temperatures are expected to lead to a loss of 99 percent of this birds summer range in the state. Brown-capped and Black Rosy-Finches are also in danger and are on Partners in Flights (PIFs) Red Watch List, and only an estimated 6,000 Cassia Crossbills remain.

Finches are at risk from pesticide use, outdoor cats, and window collisions. Major threats also include habitat loss due to land conversion practices like deforestation. However, finch populations appear to have been most negatively impacted by the effects of climate change.

For the purposes of this U.S.-based list, weve used PIF population and conservation data exclusive to the United States and Canada. In many cases, these population estimates do not reflect global numbers. Cassia Crossbill information comes from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Our list is organized taxonomically and includes all regularly occurring finch species in the continental United States and Canada.

Evening Grosbeak Evening Grosbeak

U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 3.4 MillionPopulation Trend: DecreasingHabitat: Northern and montane forestsThreats: Deforestation, disease, loss of food sources due to pesticides Conservation Status: PIF Yellow Watch ListNote: The Evening Grosbeak does not have a complex song, but rather draws from a collection of sweet, piercing notes and burry chirps.

Pine Grosbeak Pine Grosbeak

U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 4.4 millionPopulation Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Open boreal forestThreats: Possibly climate change Note: Locals in Newfoundland affectionately call Pine Grosbeaks “mopes” because they can be so tame and slow moving. Pine Grosbeaks declined by 2.4 percent per year between 1966 and 2015, resulting in a cumulative decline of 70 percent.

Gray-crowned Rosy-FinchGray-crowned Rosy-Finch

U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 200,000Population Trend: UnknownHabitat: Alpine tundraThreats: Climate change Note: The Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch has little fear of humans and allows people to approach fairly close.

Black Rosy-Finch Black Rosy-Finch

U.S. Population Estimate: 20,000Population Trend: DecreasingHabitat: Alpine tundraThreats: Climate change Conservation Status: PIF Red Watch ListNote: The Black Rosy-Finches nest in secluded crevasses along cliffs in alpine areas.

Brown-capped Rosy-Finch Brown-capped Rosy-Finch

U.S. Population Estimate: 45,000Population Trend: DecreasingHabitat: Alpine tundraThreats: Climate change Conservation Status: PIF Red Watch List Note: Brown-capped Rosy-Finches are the most sedentary rosy-finch. Unlike the Black Rosy-Finch, this species will sometimes nest in abandoned buildings.

House Finch House Finch

U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 31 millionPopulation Trend: IncreasingHabitat: GeneralistThreats: House Finch conjunctivitis (mycoplasmal conjunctivitis) Note: House Finches are native to the western United States and Mexico but were introduced in the eastern United States when illegal cagebirds were released in New York in 1939. This is one of the most well-studied bird species.

Purple FinchPurple Finch

U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 5.9 millionPopulation Trend: DecreasingHabitat: Mixed northern, montane, and boreal forestsThreats: Competition with the House Finch over food and breeding grounds, possibly climate change Note: Purple Finches sometimes imitate other birds in their songs, including Barn Swallows, American Goldfinches, Eastern Towhees, and Brown-headed Cowbirds. Purple Finch populations decreased by almost 1.5 percent per year between 1966 and 2014.

Cassins FinchCassins Finch

U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 3 millionPopulation Trend: DecreasingHabitat: Western forestsThreats: Additional studies are needed to determine the factors causing population decline. Conservation Status: PIF Yellow Watch List Note: In comparison to House and Purple Finches, the Cassins Finch has more of a peaked head and a longer, straighter bill. Cassins Finch populations have declined 69 percent since 1970.

Common RedpollCommon Redpoll

U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 38 millionPopulation Trend: UnknownHabitat: Sub-Arctic forests and tundra Threats: Vehicle collisions, salmonella infections from bird feeders, possibly climate change Note: Common Redpolls sometimes escape the cold of winter nights by burrowing into snow. (To keep redpolls and other birds safe at feeders, it is recommended that you clean your feeders with a diluted bleach solution several times a week, and make sure feeders are dry before filling them with seed. This helps prevent salmonella and other infections.)

Hoary RedpollHoary Redpoll

U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 10 millionPopulation Trend: UnknownHabitat: Arctic tundraThreats: Possibly climate change Note: Some Hoary Redpolls winter in northern areas that are near their nesting grounds that remain dark, or nearly so, for months at a time.

Red CrossbillRed Crossbill

U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 7.8 millionPopulation Trend: DecreasingHabitat: Coniferous forestsThreats: Deforestation, vehicle collisions, possible chemical poisoning Note: The crossbills odd bill shape helps it push up the scales on tightly closed cones to expose the seeds inside.

Cassia CrossbillCassia Crossbill

U.S. Population Estimate: 6,000Population Trend: DecreasingHabitat: Lodgepole Pine forests, other coniferous forestsThreats: Forest fires, infestations of Mountain Pine Bark Beetle, possibly climate change Note: The Cassia Crossbill was once considered to be one of ten types of Red Crossbill. However, by 2017, careful study revealed that it doesnt migrate or breed with other crossbills. Its name comes from Cassia County, Idaho.

White-winged CrossbillWhite-winged Crossbill

U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 35 millionPopulation Trend: IncreasingHabitat: Boreal forestThreats: Habitat loss and fragmentation, possible chemical poisoning Note: It is three times more likely that a White-winged Crossbills lower mandible will cross to the right than to the left.

Pine SiskinPine Siskin

U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 35 millionPopulation Trend: DecreasingHabitat: Northern and montane forestsThreats: Domestic cats and other predators, salmonella infections from feeders, pesticide poisoning Conservation Status: Common Bird in Steep Decline Note: To stay warm, Pine Siskins can speed up their metabolic rate roughly 40 percent higher than a “normal” songbird their size. Pine Siskin populations have declined by 80 percent since 1970.

Lesser GoldfinchLesser Goldfinch

U.S. Population Estimate: 4.7 millionPopulation Trend: IncreasingHabitat: Brushy areas, forest edges, gardensThreats: Loss of riparian habitatNote: The Lesser Goldfinch is most common in California and Texas, and the species range is expanding at least partly due to urbanization.

Lawrences GoldfinchLawrences Goldfinch

U.S. Population Estimate: 240,000Population Trend: DecreasingHabitat: Chaparral, dry areas near waterThreats: Habitat loss, introduction of invasive species Note: The Lawrences Goldfinch is nomadic. Consequently, large numbers can be found in an area one year, but may be entirely absent the next.

American GoldfinchAmerican Goldfinch

U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 43 millionPopulation Trend: IncreasingHabitat: Open habitats, fields, forest edges, open woodlandsThreats: Cat predation, glass collisions Note: Goldfinches have an almost entirely plant-based diet.

We can all contribute to the preservation of North American finches.

With our joint venture partners, American Bird Conservancy, we have enhanced conservation management on six 4 million acres of U. S. over the past ten years, bird habitat—an area bigger than the state of Maryland—has This is a huge project that needs everyone’s support. You can contribute by giving today.

Legislation passed by Congress and federal organizations, including the U S. The US Fish and Wildlife Service significantly affects the country’s birdlife. By requesting that lawmakers give priority to protecting birds, their habitat, and bird-friendly policies, you can influence these regulations for the better. To get started, visit ABCs Action Center.

Finally, dont overlook the impact you can have at home. Adopting a bird-friendly lifestyle can positively influence the nearby birds in no time. Adding native plants to your garden, avoiding pesticides, and keeping cats indoors can all help you achieve this. To learn more, visit our Bird-Friendly Life page.

Kathryn Stonich teaches English for the Community College of Baltimore County and Bryant & Stratton College online. She is an avid backyard birder and advocate for pigeon and dove rescue.

The family Fringillidae are the “true” finches. These 240 species, which are split up across three subfamilies and 50 genera, are recognized by the International Ornithological Committee (IOC) as members of the family. Surprisingly, only 78 of the species have the word “finch” in their common names, and finches are members of several other families. The Bonin grosbeak and 17 Hawaiian honeycreepers are among the 18 extinct species on this list; they are indicated with an X. [1].

This list can be sorted alphabetically by common name and binomial in addition to being presented in accordance with the IOC taxonomic sequence.

More From Bird Calls Blog

how many types of finch birds are there


How many species of finches are there?

The International Ornithological Committee (IOC) recognizes these 240 species in the family, distributed among three subfamilies and 50 genera. Confusingly, only 78 of the species include “finch” in their common names, and several other families include species called finches.

What is the rarest finch bird?

A critically endangered Galápagos finch and one of the world’s rarest birds. Currently known only from mangroves at a few sites (with restricted access) on Isabela. Formerly found on Fernandina, but there are no recent substantiated records there.

What is the friendliest finch as a pet?

Society Finches are sociable animals, roosting and even nesting together. It is in fact these very traits that have earned it the “society” tag. This bird also mixes very well with other species and makes for a good addition to any aviary.

Are Cardinals a type of finch?

Well-known or interesting birds called finches include the bunting, canary, cardinal, chaffinch, crossbill, Galapagos finch, goldfinch, grass finch, grosbeak, sparrow, euphonia, and weaver. Some 240 species of birds called the true finches are classified in the family Fringillidae.