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Photos to help you ID Purple Finch and House Finch

David Sibley’s regular column “ID Toolkit” is a popular part of every issue of BirdWatching. In our November-December 2016 issue, he offered tips for identifying Purple Finch and House Finch. For further help distinguishing these birds, please flip through this slideshow. 

Male Purple Finch

Male Purple Finch

A reliable way to distinguish Purple Finches from House Finches, Sibley writes in our November-December 2016 issue, is to look for a slight peak or triangular crest on the head of Purple Finches. You can see this in Teri Franzen's previous photo, and on the head of the male above, photographed in Salem, Oregon, by Gary Miller.


Originally Published

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Chuck Hagner

Chuck Hagner

Chuck Hagner is the director of Bird City Wisconsin, a program that recognizes municipalities in the Badger State for the conservation and education activities that they undertake to make their communities healthy for birds and people. He was the editor of BirdWatching from 2001 to 2017, and his articles have appeared in Nature Conservancy and Birding. He is also the author of two books about birds and the board chair of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, Inc., located in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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