Once found only in the western United States, House Finches (Passeriformes: Fringillidae: Haemorhous mexicanus) are now common throughout the east as well. After being introduced as potential pets in New York in 1940, a few escapees helped establish a vast new population. Today there are an estimated 267 million to 1.4 billion total individuals.
In spite of their abundance House Finches are still beautiful birds to observe. Males gain their striking red coloration from their food, which can include fruits like cherries, mulberries, and strawberries, as well as buds and seeds. Females often choose mates based on their color, so it pays for males to be excellent foragers.