Plumage/Description: Male plumage is striking in good light. Feathers on crown appear slightly raised, almost like a crest, and are a brilliant, intense red color. Red on throat, breast, and rump. Female plumage is heavy, defined, crisp streaking on the breast, flanks and back. Females have a weak eye stripe. Cassin’s Finch appear heavier bodied than House Finches.
Habitat: Pinyon/Juniper, Ponderosa/Coniferous, Residential
Time of year: Winter
Relative Abundance: Irregular in occurrence from year to year. Some years they are abundant, other years they are extremely uncommon. Not predictable from one year to another.
Behavior: Cassin’s Finches usually occur in small to medium sized flocks and will frequent seed feeders where they particularly like black-oil sunflower seeds. Also occur in Ponderosa Pine habitats during winter.
Diet: Seeds, Insects
Similar species: House Finch, Purple Finch
Best Sites: Residential settings at backyard seed feeders, Granite Basin, Thumb Butte Park, Lynx Lake.