Global invasive species database

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Common name
house finch (English), pinzon mexicano (Spanish)
Synonym
Similar species
Carpodacus purpureus
Summary
Carpodacus mexicanus (house finch) is native to the western United States and Mexico. In 1940, wild birds illegally sold as \"Hollywood Finches\" in New York were released by dealers anxious to avoid prosecution, and populations now exist throughout eastern North America. In many areas, house finches are not considered a nuisance and are appreciated for their musical song and bright colours. However, they are highly adaptable to urban and suburban environments as they peck and feed on practically all deciduous fruits, berries, grains and seed. Consequently, large populations have become a nuisance, even in their native range, where they have caused economic losses in agricultural areas.
Species Description
Carpodacus mexicanus (house finches) are about the same size as house sparrows. Males are brownish with a bright red breast, forehead, rump and stripe over the eye. They also have narrow dark stripes on the flanks and belly. Females are sparrow-like, with a plain head, streaked underparts and no eye stripe. House finches have a warbling song, frequently ending in harsh, nasal notes. Their chirp is similar to that of a house sparrow (Clark, J., Hygnstrom, S. 1994).
Lifecycle Stages
Pair formation begins in the winter, culminating in pairbonds established just before the breeding season begins. Females are most likely to choose a mate that has the most brightly coloured plumage, rather than a dominant male. In the northeast of the USA, house finches may breed twice during the breeding season, which starts in the earliest part of spring. The female incubates her eggs for 12-14 days and the young fledge 11-19 days after hatching (Pappas, 2002).
Habitat Description
In the eastern United States, Carpodacus mexicanus (house finches) are highly adaptable to urban and suburban environments. They are especially invasive in agricultural areas. House finches are also found in open desert and desert grassland, chaparral, oak savannah, riparian areas and open coniferous forests in the western United States (Pappas, 2002). House finches nest on ledges, on branches of trees, shrubs and cactus and in holes in trees or wall (InfoNatura, 2004).
Reproduction
The nest is made of grasses, hair or any available fibres and is fashioned as a shallow cup. A clutch consists of three to six bluish or greenish-white eggs that are black-spotted near the large end. Each egg weighs approximately 2.4g.
Nutrition
Seeds, including those from thistle, dandelion, sunflower and mistletoe, as well as buds, are consumed. In addition, fruits such as cherries and mulberries are favoured. The house finch eats, almost exclusively, plant materials .

Principal source: Pappas, J. 2002. Carpodacus mexicanus (On-line), Animal Diversity Web.

Compiler: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

Review: Kevin P. B. Oh. Graduate Student. Dr. Badyaev's Lab Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona Tucson, USA.

Publication date: 2007-01-24

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2016) Species profile: Carpodacus mexicanus. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=485 on 09-12-2016.

General Impacts
Carpodacus mexicanus (house finches) peck and feed on practically all deciduous fruits, berries, grains, vegetable seed and flower seed. Damage involves feeding on ripening fruit, such as apples, apricots, avocados, blackberries, cherries, figs, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, prunes, raspberries and strawberries. They also detach the bracts of fruit buds and eat the buds; at blossom time they knock off petals and eat the embryonic fruits. Damage occurs to ripening fruit during three periods: early season (damage by nesting adults), mid to late season (damage by young and adult birds resident in the locality), and winter (damage to late ripening fruit by flocks of birds gathering in their winter habitats) (Clark, J., Hygnstrom, S. 1994).

House finches use nests of other species (e.g., grosbeak, cliff swallow). They are however not considered a competitive threat to native cavity nesting birds in eastern North America (InfoNatura, 2004).

Management Info
Physical: Clark and Hygnstrom (2005) describe several prevention and control methods. Exclusion involves installing plastic netting to protect crops. Habitat modification can deter house finches from feeding on crops and can be done by removing large brush piles, stacks of irrigation pipe, and piles of boxes to eliminate nesting and resting areas. Other methods of controlling the house finch population include frightening the birds with loud noises or alarms. Trapping devices may also be useful. Some repellents may be used, but they are not considered very effective. Shooting will somewhat reduce the number of birds present, but is a costly and rather futile method of crop protection.
Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Carpodacus mexicanus
ALIEN RANGE
NATIVE RANGE
  • mexico
  • united states
Informations on Carpodacus mexicanus has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Carpodacus mexicanus in information
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Occurrence
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Species notes for this location
Location note
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Impact
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Impact information
Carpodacus mexicanus (house finches) peck and feed on practically all deciduous fruits, berries, grains, vegetable seed and flower seed. Damage involves feeding on ripening fruit, such as apples, apricots, avocados, blackberries, cherries, figs, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, prunes, raspberries and strawberries. They also detach the bracts of fruit buds and eat the buds; at blossom time they knock off petals and eat the embryonic fruits. Damage occurs to ripening fruit during three periods: early season (damage by nesting adults), mid to late season (damage by young and adult birds resident in the locality), and winter (damage to late ripening fruit by flocks of birds gathering in their winter habitats) (Clark, J., Hygnstrom, S. 1994).

House finches use nests of other species (e.g., grosbeak, cliff swallow). They are however not considered a competitive threat to native cavity nesting birds in eastern North America (InfoNatura, 2004).

Red List assessed species 0:
Locations
Mechanism
[1] Predation
Outcomes
[1] Socio-Economic
  • [1] Damage to agriculture
Management information
Physical: Clark and Hygnstrom (2005) describe several prevention and control methods. Exclusion involves installing plastic netting to protect crops. Habitat modification can deter house finches from feeding on crops and can be done by removing large brush piles, stacks of irrigation pipe, and piles of boxes to eliminate nesting and resting areas. Other methods of controlling the house finch population include frightening the birds with loud noises or alarms. Trapping devices may also be useful. Some repellents may be used, but they are not considered very effective. Shooting will somewhat reduce the number of birds present, but is a costly and rather futile method of crop protection.
Bibliography
8 references found for Carpodacus mexicanus

Managment information
Clark, Jerry P. and Scott E. Hygnstrom., 2005. House Finch (Linnets)
Summary: A detailed report on all aspects of the house finch, including biology, ecology, and control methods.
Available from: http://icwdm.org/handbook/birds/HouseFinches.asp [Accessed 5 February 2008].
General information
Allen, R. Brittingham, M. 1997. House Finch Conjuctivitis. Pennsylvania Wildlife Series.
CWBO (Chipper Woods Bird Observatory). 2003. House Finch. Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc.
Summary: General information on the house finch in Indiana, USA.
Available from: http://www.wbu.com/chipperwoods/photos/housefinch.htm [Accessed 21 June 2003].
Gough, G.A., Sauer, J.R., Iliff, M. Patuxent Bird Identification Infocenter. 1998. Version 97.1. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.
Summary: Identification tips and similar species information.
Available from: http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/Infocenter/i5190id.html [Accessed 10 June 2003].
InfoNatura, 2004. Carpodacus mexicanus. House Finch.
Summary: Images, range information and taxonomy.
Available from:http://www.natureserve.org/infonatura/servlet/InfoNatura?searchSciOrCommonName=carpodacus [Accessed 5 february 2008]
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2004. Online Database Carpodacus mexicanus
Summary: An online database that provides taxonomic information, common names, synonyms and geographical jurisdiction of a species. In addition links are provided to retrieve biological records and collection information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal and bioscience articles from BioOne journals.
Available from: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=179191 [Accessed December 31 2004]
Pappas, J. 2002. Carpodacus mexicanus (On-line), Animal Diversity Web.
Summary: This report reviews available information on the description, taxonomy and habitat of the House Finch.
Available from: http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Carpodacus_mexicanus.html [Accessed May 31, 2004].
Tallman, D. 1997. House Finch. South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.
Summary: A report on the Natural History and distribution on the House Finch in the United States.
Contact
The following 1 contacts offer information an advice on Carpodacus mexicanus
Oh,
Kevin P. B
Webpage
Research interests in his own words, I am interested in reproductive behaviors and the evolution of sexually selected traits. Specifically, I seek to understand how natural selection acts on mate choice and how this may in turn affect the strength of sexual selection in a wild population of birds. Additionally, I ask how individual mate preference is influenced by prior experience and life history stage .
Organization:
Graduate Student Dr. Badyaev s Lab
Address:
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology BSW, PO Box 210088 1041 E. Lowell University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85721-0088, US
Phone:
(520) 621-4005
Fax:
(520) 621-9190