Differences between House-Finch and Pine-Siskin

House-Finch House-Finch
Pine-Siskin Pine-Siskin

House-Finch and Pine-Siskin are two classes of birds that belong to the Fringillidae family .

House Finch is a medium-sized song bird. It has a flat head, short wings, and long jagged tail. Also known as Linnet, the bird has a cone-shaped beak and thin short legs. The female House Finches have a blackish brown plumage all over their body. However, the male birds have reddish face, neck, and chest. This color, which they get from compounds in their diet, could vary with geography. House Finch is known as an aggressive and intelligent bird. There are about 11 subspecies of them.

Pine Siskin is a small song bird. It has a small head, jagged tail, and large body. The plumage is a darker brown on the back and paler brown on the stomach with white patches all over the body. The wings and tails have yellow patches. The bird’s bill is cone-like and pointed. The legs are short and brown with four toes for perching. Pine Siskins are noisy while foraging, flying, and mating. They make raspy and chirpy sounds. They are specially known for the long, harsh twitters they produce.

Where are House-Finch and Pine-Siskin found?

House Finches live near streams, in bushes and thickets, and at grasslands, open forests, cities, and suburbs. They are native to western parts of North America, but have been introduced in the eastern regions, the USA, Mexico, and southern Canada.

Pine Siskins prefer conifer and deciduous forests. However, they are also found in grasslands, meadows, woodlands, and suburban areas where there are plenty of trees. The bird is native to North America. It travels across Canada, Alaska, and northern USA for breeding and during winters.

What do House-Finch and Pine-Siskin eat?

House Finches are mostly herbivores. Their diet chiefly comprises of seeds, berries, cactus, grains, fruits, buds, nuts, and other vegetation. Occasionally, the birds may eat tiny insects.

Pine Siskins are omnivores although they mostly eat seeds such as spruce, thistle, and birch. They eat insects also in summers. An interesting feeding style among Pine Siskins is that they turn upside down while holding on to conifer branches to eat the cones.

Here are a few pointers about the eating patterns between House-Finch and Pine-Siskin

  • Neither House-Finch nor Pine-Siskin eat Fish.
  • Neither House-Finch nor Pine-Siskin eat Frogs.
  • Neither House-Finch nor Pine-Siskin eat Lizards.
  • Neither House-Finch nor Pine-Siskin eat Snakes.
  • Neither House-Finch nor Pine-Siskin eat Turtles.
  • Neither House-Finch nor Pine-Siskin eat Squirrels.
  • House-Finch and Pine-Siskin do not eat Gophers.
  • Both House-Finch and Pine-Siskin do not eat Baby Ducks.
  • Mice are not eaten by both House-Finch and Pine-Siskin.

Size of House-Finch and Pine-Siskin?

When it comes to size, The average length of House Finches is five to six inches. The birds have a wingspan of about eight to 10 inches.. Pine Siskins are 4.3-5.5 inches long. Their wingspan averages between 7.1-8.7 inches.

House Finches are small birds. They weigh 0.66-0.77 ounces. while Pine Siskins are tiny birds that weigh 0.42-0.63 ounces.

Where do House-Finch and Pine-Siskin nest?

House Finches build their nests in tree cavities, branches, bushes, ridges, nest boxes, street lamps, chimneys, or corners of buildings. It is the female that usually constructs the nests. She uses dried grass, stems, twigs, leaves, and feathers for the purpose. The nests are generally three to seven inches wide and about two inches deep. The eggs of House Finches are bluish white with dark speckles. The female House Finch incubates them for about two weeks. When the nestlings hatch, both parents engage in feeding them. They are generally fed with soft fly larvae. The young ones fledge when they are 12-15 days old.

The nests of Pine Siskins are large and shaped like cups. They are covertly placed on horizontal branches of trees, mostly conifers. The female bird constructs the nests with pieces of barks, twigs, grass, and leaves. They are lined with moss, feathers, and plant material. Pine Siskin eggs are bluish green with brown markings. The female lays two to six of them and incubates them continuously for 13 days while being fed by her partner. The parents feed the young ones through regurgitation. The chicks will be able to fledge in two weeks.

How long do House-Finch and Pine-Siskin live?

House Finches live for up to 11 years in the wild. The oldest known House Finch lived for 11 years and seven months.

The average lifespan of Pine Siskins is five to six years. The oldest known bird lived for over nine years in North Carolina.

Are House-Finch or Pine-Siskin migratory birds?

House Finches in the western parts of North America are mostly residents. The ones from the east of the continent and south-eastern Canada migrate southward during winters.

Pine Siskins exhibit erratic migratory behavior. Their travel depends on the condition of cone crops in their habitats. In winters, they may either migrate in large flocks to the south, east, or west of North America or stay on in their territories.

Do House-Finch and Pine-Siskin fly in flocks?

A flock of House Finches is known as charming or trembling. These birds are extremely gregarious. They are seldom seen solitarily, except in the breeding season. They often forage in loose flocks on the ground or on trees. House Finches may also be extremely noisy. Their nests are generally located in close vicinity. In groups, female House Finches tend to be more dominating.

Pine Siskins are sociable birds. They live communally in large groups, making loud calls and sounds. They forage in trees and shrubs along with their flock, flying together from one tree to another. The birds are also known to migrate in large flocks consisting of many thousands. Pine Siskins are social even during the breeding season. Although they are territorial, the birds turn up at each other’s nests.

Are House-Finch or Pine-Siskin protected?

House Finches are protected as migratory and non-game birds. It is against the law to kill or harm them.

Pine Siskins are protected under the Migratory Bird Act in USA. They are also protected by law in Canada.

Are House-Finch or Pine-Siskin endangered?

House Finches are listed as species of least concern. They are neither threatened nor endangered. However, the birds face dangers such as predator attacks, bacterial disease, and collisions.

Pine Siskins are not endangered, neither are they threatened. However, their population is on a downfall. The birds face threats from getting infected while flying in huge flocks, falling sick from bird feeders at people’s backyards, poisoning from pesticides, and dehydration.

Can House-Finch and Pine-Siskin fly?

House Finches commonly fly in small groups. They have short wings, so they are not great aviators. Their flying speed averages 15-20 miles an hour. They can also be seen hopping while looking for food on the ground.

The flight of Pine Siskins is marked by their swift take off. The yellow blotches on the wings are flaunted as the birds fly with their head stuck out and legs folded. Pine Siskins fly boisterously in flocks, making different patterns to save energy.

Can House-Finch and Pine-Siskin swim?

House Finches are not water birds. Their feet are adapted for perching rather than for swimming. However, the birds enjoy bathing and splashing in shallow waters.

Pine Siskins are not water birds. However, they may get into water for bathing and drinking.

Mating patterns among House-Finch and Pine-Siskin

House Finches reach sexually maturity when they are about a year old. During courtship, the female beseeches to be fed by the male. The male feeds the partner, performs several aerial displays, and sings melodiously. The male House Finch’s courtship habit of singing while fluttering the wings and gently gliding down is unique to House Finches. This is referred to as butterfly flight. The male is also protective of his partner. He defends his mate and the nesting territory. House Finches raise three or more broods every year. Each clutch consists of two to six eggs. While the female builds the nest and incubates the eggs, she is supported by the male who feeds her from courtship until the hatching of eggs. The partners also share the responsibility of feeding and guarding their young ones.

Pine Siskins attain sexual maturity before they turn one. The birds move to conifer or deciduous forests for breeding. During courtship, the male encircles the female by flight. He keeps his wings and tails spread out. The male also perches on top of trees and sings to attract the attention of the female. The female coos back when she has accepted the offer to mate. The partners also sing sophisticated notes during copulation. In another courtship behavior, the male fetches food and feeds it to the female. The female Pine Siskin generally raises two broods every season, laying three to six eggs in each clutch. She incubates the eggs in insulated nests, breeding continuously with her partner feeding her for all the 13 days. The partners also co-operate in feeding the young ones and guarding the nests.

When is the mating season for House-Finch and Pine-Siskin ?

The mating season for House Finches is from March-August each year. The birds, however, start pairing in winter.

Pine Siskins begin courtship in January-February. The mating season could extend up to spring and summer depending on the availability of food in the vicinity. The birds not always return to the same breeding site every year.

Do House-Finch and Pine-Siskin mate for life?

House Finches are monogamous. They mate for life and live with the same partner for the whole of their lives.

Pine Siskins are monogamous and loyal to their partners during the nesting season. They form pairs during winters.

How do House-Finch and Pine-Siskin sleep?

House Finches sleep at dusk. They need 10-12 hours of sleep each day. They sleep on trees, ledges, rocks, buildings, and street lamps. The birds huddle together while roosting to maintain body temperature.

Pine Siskins sleep on concealed branches of conifer trees, typically 10-20 feet above the ground. They mostly roost in groups. During the breeding season, the female sleeps at the nesting site.

Can House-Finch and Pine-Siskin be eaten?

House Finches are not known to be eaten. It is also against the law to kill them. However, some people may consume their eggs.

Pine Siskins are protected by law. It is illegal to kill them for meat.

Can you hunt House-Finch or Pine-Siskin?

House Finches are protected birds. It is against the law to harm or hunt them.

Pine Siskins are not known to be hunted by humans. In recent times, there are laws that protect the birds from any harm or hunting.

Can you feed House-Finch or Pine-Siskin?

It is a common practice in America to keep feeds for House Finches and other birds. The feeds for House Finches include berries, seeds, bell peppers, beetroot, cabbage, and banana.

It is a common practice for people to leave food for birds in the feeders at their backyards. Pine Siskins are also maintained at zoos and wildlife parks. The best feeds to offer these birds is seeds, millets, and vegetables.