New Hampshire State Bird

Purple Finch

New Hampshire state bird: Purple Finch Carpodacuspurpureus

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New Hampshire State Bird Description:

  • Size: 5 to 6 inches (12-15 cm)
  • Wingspan: 9 to 10 inches (22-26 cm)
  • Weight: .64 to 1.09 ounces (18-31 g)

The Purple Finch is a small plump bird. The male has raspberryor rose color on its head, nape, face, throat, breast, flanks and rump.The brightest color is on its head and rump. The male's back and scapulars are deep red, streaked with brown. The wings and tail are brown and the belly and undertail coverts are white.

The female Purple Finch is brown-and-white striped. Thebill, on both the male and female, is relatively thick and pointed and the tail is strongly notched.


The Purple finch can be found in conifer or mixed forests, sub-urban areas, parks and orchards. The New Hampshire state bird breeds primarily in cool conifer forests.

Summer Range:Breeds from southwestern Yukon eastward across Canada, southward into the northeastern United States, and in the mountains to Virginia, and southward along the Pacific Coast to southern California.

Winter Range:Winters along the Pacific Coast and from southeastern Canada southward to Gulf Coast, from central Texas to northern Florida.


The Purple Finch feeds on seeds, buds, blossoms, nectar, fruit, and occasionally insects. It will feed on flowers by crushing the base to get nectar. Can be attracted to feeders with sunflowerseeds and suet bird food.


Purple Finches will normally construct their nest 5 to 60 feetabove the ground, in a conifer, on a horizontal branch, far from the trunk. The nest is made from coarse grass and weeds, and lined with fine moss, hair and rootlets.

The clutch will contain 4 to 5 pale greenish blue eggs with brown and black spots. The incubation period lasts 12 to 13 days. The male brings food to the female, who remains with the nest.

A Few Things You Probably Didn't Know:

  • Purple Finch populations have been decliningin recent years. It is believed to be due to the introduction of the House Finch and House Sparrow. When competing for food the aggressive House Finch nearly always wins.
  • The New Hampshire state bird feeds onflowers by crushing the base to get to the nectar. This type of feeding can be destructive to fruit trees causing many farmers to consider Purple Finches to be destructive birds.
  • Will form large flocks containing 20 to30 birds of both sexes. When feeding together, they can empty out your feeders pretty fast.
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