A Comprehensive Guide to Finches in Texas

Table of Contents

 Types of Finches in Texas – Identify and Learn About All 14 Species

Vibrant, delicate, and captivating, finches are not only delightful to observe, but also add a touch of magic to gardens and backyards across Texas. With 14 distinct species of finches in Texas, bird enthusiasts, nature lovers, and homeowners have ample opportunities to connect with these enchanting creatures. Let’s dive into the colorful world of finches in Texas – types of finches in Texas, and discover the unique traits, habits, and tips for attracting these beautiful songbirds to your backyard.

  • House Finches are a common sight in Texas and can be attracted to backyards with the use of tube-style or platform feeders.
  • American Goldfinches, Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, Cassin’s Finches, and other species can also be spotted in certain parts of Texas.
  • Backyard birders may attract these finches by providing appropriate feeder types and plants.

House Finch: A Common Sight in Texas

House Finches are year-round residents in Texas, found in urban and suburban areas, and attracted to sunflower seeds and fruit during the breeding season. They inhabit deserts, plains, and open woods. Males are recognizable by their redheads and breasts, while their bodies are mainly characterized by brown-streaked plumage. Females, on the other hand, sport uniformly brown-streaked feathers.

These birds construct their nests in thickets, bushes, natural cavities, or even in buildings, with females taking the lead in using materials like grass, leaves, twigs, and feathers to build them. House Finches are drawn to black oil sunflower seeds, millet, milo, and nyjer seeds. Use either the tube feeders in-style or platform feeders to meet their needs in your backyard.

You’ll soon be delighted by the presence of these charming birds in your garden.

American Goldfinch: Winter Visitors in Texas

The American Goldfinch, a winter visitor in Texas, displays a bright yellow coloration during spring and a duller brown hue in winter. Strictly vegetarian, their diet consists solely of seeds, including those from flowers, weeds, grasses, and shrubs. Males are easily recognizable with their black and white wings.

To draw American Goldfinches to your backyard, provide sunflower seeds, berries, and Nyjer seeds. These birds can top several seed feeders in any orientation, even inverted, making their presence a fascinating sight as they enjoy the seeds you provide. Bird feeders specifically designed for goldfinches can be particularly advantageous.

Lesser Goldfinch: Tiny Songbirds of Texas

The Lesser Goldfinch is a small bird with yellowish plumage, a blackish conical bill, long black wings with one white wing bar, and a large white patch at the base of the primaries. These tiny songbirds are most commonly observed in California and Texas, with local populations present throughout the remainder of central and southwest portions of their U.S. range.

Despite their small size, Lesser Goldfinches are known for their vibrant color and captivating song. They are a delightful addition to any backyard, with their cheerful melodies filling the air as they forage for seeds and fruits in open habitats during the breeding season.

Pine Siskin: Erratic Winter Guests

Pine Siskins are erratic winter guests in Texas, found near conifers and attracted to sunflower or Nyjer seeds. Social birds, typically search for food in flocks and are known to chirp nonstop even when flying. Pine Siskins inhabit evergreen and deciduous forests and favor seeds that lack hard shells, such as sunflower or Nyjer seeds, in their diet.

To attract Pine Siskins to your backyard, position feeders in close proximity to sizeable conifers and brushy pine trees around. These winter visitors will soon find the seeds you provide, adding an interesting dimension to your backyard birdwatching experience.

Purple Finch: A Winter Beauty

Purple Finches, winter visitors, and one of the finches in Texas exhibit reddish-purple males and brown streaky feathers on females. They are commonly found in evergreen forests, where they feed on seeds, buds, nectar, and berries. Males are known for their rich and melodious warbles, making their presence a joy for bird enthusiasts.

To attract Purple Finches to your backyard, provide black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer and sunflower seeds, pine seeds, berries, and maple buds. These winter beauties will eat seeds, add a splash of color to your garden, and their melodious songs will fill the air, making your backyard a serene haven for both you and the birds.

Cassin’s Finch: Rare Mountain Dwellers

Cassin’s Finches are rare mountain-dwelling birds in Texas, found during winter in the western part of the state. These birds are characterized by peaked heads and short-medium tails; males exhibit varying shades of red or purple, while females present gray-brown coloring. Cassin’s Finches are known to crave salt and often visit mineral deposits on the ground.

To attract these rare finches to your backyard, provide sunflower seed feeders or fruiting shrubs. With their striking appearance and unique behavior, Cassin’s Finches will certainly add a sense of wonder to your backyard birding experience.

Red Crossbill: Unique Beaks and Habitats

Red Crossbills are unique-beaked finches found in coniferous forests, feeding on conifer seeds. Occasionally seen in Texas, these birds are characterized by their distinctive “Kip-Kip” vocalizations as they fly above coniferous forests in mountainous regions. Their crossed bills make them stand out from other finches.

Though sightings of Red Crossbills in Texas are rare, their fascinating beaks and unique habitat preferences make them remarkable birds to encounter. Keep an eye out for these interesting finches the next time you’re exploring coniferous forests in Texas.

Evening Grosbeak: Colorful Migrants

Evening Grosbeaks are colorful migrants in Texas, found in deciduous and coniferous forests. They are attracted to sunflower seeds, berries, and maple buds. Males display a vibrant yellow and black coloration, while females have a more subdued appearance.

To attract Evening Grosbeaks to your backyard, provide black oil sunflower seeds and black sunflower seeds on a platform feeder and plant fruiting shrubs nearby. These beautiful birds will add a burst of color to your backyard, enriching your birdwatching experience with their striking appearance and lively presence.

Common Redpoll: Frosty Plumage and Winter Behavior

Common Redpolls, with their frosty plumage, are rare in Texas. Known for their winter behavior of tunneling into the snow and eating up to 42% of their body mass, these birds are a fascinating sight. With their stunning appearance, they add a touch of enchantment to the winter landscape.

Attracting Common Redpolls requires providing Nyjer seeds in your backyard feeders. Although sightings of these frosty-plumaged finches are rare in Texas, the unique beauty and captivating behavior of Common Redpolls make them a treasure for any backyard birder.

White-winged Crossbill: Accidental Visitors

White-winged Crossbills are accidental visitors in Texas, last seen in 2018. These birds breed in Canada and Alaska before migrating to the western US states. Males exhibit a pinkish-red hue with black wings and two bold white wing bars, while females are of a yellowish overall coloration.

Though sightings of White-winged Crossbills are rare in Texas, their unique appearance and accidental visitor status make them an exciting find for bird enthusiasts. Be on the lookout for these striking birds the next time you’re birdwatching in Texas.

Lawrence’s Goldfinch: Rare Migrants from the West


Lawrence’s Goldfinches are rare migrants from the West, breeding in California before migrating east and south. These charming birds have a gray back, white and black wings, and sides, yellow patches on their chests, and yellow wing bars. They are attracted to seeds and are known to nest high up in trees.

While sightings of Lawrence’s Goldfinches in Texas are uncommon, their alluring appearance and migratory behavior make them a captivating addition to any backyard. Keep an eye out for these delightful birds as they make their rare appearances in the Lone Star State.

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch: Winter Wanderers

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches are winter wanderers in Texas, medium-sized, chunky birds that breed in Alaska and Canada before migrating to the western US states. These birds inhabit alpine areas above the tree line, as well as rocky environments on Alaska’s Aleutian and Pribilof Islands.

Though Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches are not commonly spotted in Texas, their striking appearance and winter wandering behavior make them an interesting find for bird enthusiasts. Keep an eye out for these beautiful birds as they occasionally grace the Texas landscape during their winter travels.

Pine Grosbeak: A Rare Sight in Texas

Pine Grosbeaks are a rare sight in Texas, with distinct male and female appearances. These birds nest on low trees and are attracted to seeds and fruits. Males display a reddish-purple hue, while females are gray with dull orange heads and rumps.

Although Pine Grosbeaks are rarely seen in Texas, their unique appearance and intriguing behavior make them a memorable sight for any bird enthusiast. Be on the lookout for these elusive birds and enjoy the rare moments when they grace your backyard or local birding spots.

Attracting Finches to Your Texas Backyard

Attracting the various finch species to your Texas backyard can be a rewarding experience, providing hours of enjoyment and a connection to the natural world. By understanding the preferences of each species, you can tailor your backyard to suit their needs. Providing appropriate feeders, such as a tube, platform, or hopper-type bird seed feeders, and offering a variety of seeds like black oil sunflower, safflower, or nyjer seeds, will attract finches to visit your backyard.

Additionally, consider planting fruiting shrubs or insect-loving plants to create a more inviting habitat for these charming birds. Remember that each finch species has its unique habits, preferences, and appearances. By catering to their specific needs and creating a welcoming environment, you can transform your backyard into a haven for the diverse and captivating finch species found in Texas.


In conclusion, the diverse finch species of Texas offer a wealth of beauty, charm, and fascination for both casual birdwatchers and dedicated enthusiasts. By understanding the unique traits, habits, and preferences of these captivating birds and making simple modifications to your backyard, you can create an inviting sanctuary for finches and enjoy the enchanting world of these delightful songbirds. Now it’s time to grab your binoculars and embark on your backyard birding adventure!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a finch look like in Texas?

House Finches are common in Texas, featuring a small brown body with a distinct red, orange, or yellow cap, breast, and rump on the male. These unique birds were once mostly sedentary in western North America before being introduced to the central and eastern portions of half of the continent and Hawaii.

They can be easily spotted in the region, making them an interesting sight for bird watchers.

What are the small green finches in Texas?

The Olive Sparrows, commonly known as Green Finches, are native to Texas and can be spotted throughout the state. This species of finch is characterized by its bright olive green plumage and whitish rufous under-tail coverts.

Sep 16, 2021.

What are the yellow finches in Central Texas?

The Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) is the only species of yellow finch found in Central Texas. This small passerine bird has a bright yellow body, black crown, wings, and tail, making it easily identifiable.

The male retains its flashy yellow and black plumage year-round, unlike the American Goldfinch, which has a more subdued coloration in the winter months.

What types of seeds do finches prefer?

Finches have a fondness for black oil sunflower, safflower, and nyjer seeds, offering bird-lovers an interesting selection of treats to provide these feathered friends.

These seeds are a great source of nutrition for finches, providing them with essential vitamins and minerals. They also provide a great source of entertainment, as finches love to forage for their food.

Bird lovers can also visit bird feeders and provide finches with a variety of food.

How can I attract House Finches to my backyard?

If you want to attract House Finches to your backyard, consider providing a variety of bird feeders filled with black oil sunflower seeds, millet, milo, or nyjer seeds. This will give them the energy they need to thrive and will help draw them to your yard.


Marry J Correy

Marry J Correy

Living in San Francisco, we get to see (and hear) quite a few House Finches all year round.
When a couple of them made their home in my back yard, I started to feed them and even got a little wooden birdhouse.
So I thought I'd tell you what I discovered...

About Me

Living in San Francisco, we get to see (and hear) quite a few House Finches all year round.
When a couple of them made their home in my back yard, I started to feed them and even got a little wooden birdhouse.
So I thought I’d tell you what I discovered…

Recent Posts

Fun House Finch bath