|A breeding pair of Carpodacus mexicanus, also known as house finches.|
The house finch, Carpodacus mexicanus, is a little passerine bird that I have a bit of a rocky relationship with. Don't get me wrong; I love it when any of my "backyard dinosaurs" come to visit the feeders around my house. But I'm still on the fence about these little guys. Now before you label me some kind of finch hater (which I certainly am not), let me explain. While C. mexicanus is native to North America, it is not exactly native to the east coast, having been introduced to this area from Mexico and the southwestern United States in the 1940s. Populations that were released from illegal captivity quickly became naturalized, and their population has been expanding ever since. In many places, they have out competed the native species of purple finch, Carpodacus purpureus. This is a bird that should be at my feeders, but sadly, I have never seen.