I saw a House Finch that was orange or yellow instead of red. What happened to it?

April 1, 2009
Though we typically think of House Finch as red, they actually come in a few color variations. Photo by Nick Dean via Birdshare. Though we typically think of House Finch as red, they actually come in a few color variations. Photo by Nick Dean via Birdshare.
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Male House Finches are generally red, but under certain certain circumstances they may be orange or yellow instead. Different subspecies may show color variations, but differences in color are also attributed to diet. When a bird is molting, its diet will determine the colors of its new feathers. If a diet lacks certain pigments, then a House Finch may end up orange or yellow instead of its usual red. Project FeederWatch participants often keep track of interesting birds, including those with unusual color patterns. Read more about House Finch color variations on the FeederWatch website.

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