Hope you can identify this bird

Asked June 27, 2018, 10:02 AM EDT

Hope you can identify this bird. Also if yes, is it native and not an invasive. And a solution if invasive Thank you

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

Given the time of year, it could be either a 1) adult female house finch, 2) juvenile male or female house finch, 3) adult female purple finch, or 4) juvenile male of female purple finch. The juvenile male and female plumage overlaps in both species and there is significant plumage variation within species, e.g., one might argue that the strong striping on the flank of this bird indicates that it's a purple finch, but you can find as many house finches with strong striping. And the geographic range of both species overlaps. So, there's really no way of knowing based on looking at the bird without having it in hand.

Behavior and habitat, though, are different stories. Purple finches tend to be more forest birds whereas house finches are classic neighborhood birds. House finches also have a strong tendency to nest in hanging flower pots and door wreaths.

So, there's a 95% chance this is a house finch and based on the clarity of the striping, most likely a female house finch.

These are native to Western North American and have expanded their range to the east.