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Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Birds Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Male Cassin's Finches have a distinct red cap

General Description: Cassin's Finches (Carpodacus cassinii) are little finches of the high mountains. Males have a red crown patch and pale red on the throat and upper breast. The sides of the breast, belly, and undertail coverts have fine, distinct brown streaks. Female Cassin's Finches are gray with finely streaked under parts. The face is finely streaked, including an indistinct eyeline.

Male Cassin's Finches look similar to male Purple Finches, but Cassin's do not have the "dipped in raspberry juice" appearance. The red color on Cassin's is pale and less extensive, although the red on the top of the head forms a bright and distinct cap. Female Cassin's Finches are finely streaked, not heavily streaked like female Purple Finches. Female Cassin's Finches do not have a bold eyeline.

Taxonomy: Passeriformes, Fringillidae, Carduelinae.

Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Female Cassin's Finch have little, if any, eyeline

Favored Habitat: High mountain forests.

Where to Find: Mt. Charleston and other high mountains around Las Vegas.

Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Cassin's Finches have streaked undertail coverts.
Comments: There are three species of finches in the Las Vegas area: House Finch, Purple Finch, and Cassin's Finch, and female finches are easier to identify than males. House Finches occur in the desert, Purple Finches generally occur at middle elevations, and Cassin's Finches generally occur up in the mountains. The habitat of Purple Finches overlaps the other two, but House Finches and Cassin's Finches do not overlap. Thus, if you see a female finch at higher elevations that looks like a House Finch (finely streaked, indistinct eyeline), then you know you have Cassin's Finches.
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii) Notice not a hint on an eyebrow line on this one, but see the next photo.
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii) Cassin's Finches usually show no eyebrow line, but this has a hint of a line above and behind the eye. Hard to see in the photo, but the undertail coverts are streaked and the bill is long and pointed.
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii) If you were a tasty bug or a little seed, this might also be the last face you ever see!
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii) Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii) Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Cassin's Finch
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Cassin's Finch in the desert at Corn Creek
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Female Cassin's Finches are gray and streaked, but do not have the distinct white eyeline seen on female Purple Finches.
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Female Cassin's Finch with conical, but pointy, bill. Note the lack of a bold, white eyeline.
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii) Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii) Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii) Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii) Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii) Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii)
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120907

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