Purple Finch Haemorhous purpureus Scientific name definitions

J. Timothy Wootton
Version: 1.0 — Published March 4, 2020
Text last updated January 1, 1996


Welcome to Birds of the World!

You are currently viewing one of the free accounts available in our complimentary tour of Birds of the World. In this courtesy review, you can access all the life history articles and the multimedia galleries associated with this account.

For complete access to all accounts, a subscription is required.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in

Habitat in Breeding Range

Breeds primarily in moist or cool coniferous forests. Also frequently found breeding in mixed coniferous-deciduous forest, edges of bogs, and riparian corridors. Also breeds in deciduous forests, orchards, ornamental plantations, pastures and lawns with scattered conifers and shrubs, hedgerows, and developed areas.

Detailed multivariate analysis of vegetation structure for a population breeding in fragmented aspen (Populus)-red maple (Acer rubrum) woodland in New York finds a strong positive correlation in breeding density with the relative ratio of forest edge to forest area and with the density of understory vegetation (Keller 1990). Never found breeding in old-growth deciduous forests in New York (Keller 1990).

Habitat in Nonbreeding Range

Habitat in Migration

Similar to winter range.

Habitat in Overwintering Range

Broad range of habitats, among the broadest of North American finches. Includes coniferous, deciduous, and mixed coniferous-deciduous forests, urban and suburban areas, mixed shrub and conifer habitats, weedy fields, and hedgerows. Habitat choice likely dictated by availability of food resources rather than habitat structure or the species composition of the vegetation.

Purple Finch
Figure 3. Annual cycle of breeding, migration, and molt of the Purple Finch

Annual cycle of breeding, migration, and molt of the Purple Finch based largely on information from Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Thick lines show peak activity, thin lines off-peak.

Recommended Citation

Wootton, J. T. (2020). Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole and F. B. Gill, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.purfin.01