Purple finches have very large sturdy beaks, perfectly made for cracking and crushing even the sturdiest of seeds.
Purple finches are bigger than the more familiar goldfinches and chickadees, but much smaller than robins. They are rather chubby finches with short, deeply forked tails. The males are beautiful with their deep pink heads and breasts, which is where their name comes from.
Purple finches will go directly to black oil sunflower seeds and eat while perching on a feeder. Less commonly, they will land on the ground or use a tray feeder. Most finches flock together or at least associate with their own species or other finch species. Because they are often too close together when feeding, it is important to clean feeders regularly to prevent them from spreading disease to each other.
Most migrate to Central and South America in the winter. When they come back in May, the males are a beautiful rosy red colour on their heads and throats, with deeper brownish-red on their wings and tails. They can easily be heard from a long distance singing from the highest treetops. These are birds of the boreal or evergreen forests feeding on insects and seeds throughout the spring and summer.