Purple Finch Identification

The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    Among the small forest birds like chickadees, kinglets, and nuthatches, Purple Finches are large and chunky. Their powerful, conical beaks are larger than any sparrow’s. The tail seems short and is clearly notched at the tip.

    Relative Size

    About the same size as House Finch and House Sparrow

    Relative Sizesparrow or smallersparrow-sized or smaller
    Measurements
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 4.7-6.3 in (12-16 cm)
      • Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz (18-32 g)
      • Wingspan: 8.7-10.2 in (22-26 cm)

Regional Differences

Purple Finches from the Pacific Coast are duller and sing a faster song than Eastern birds.