I've enjoyed watching this pair of birds build a nest in my patio light. One bird now appears to be in residence, and the red bird seems to come and go. I think they might be mates? These photos are taken in Mesa, AZ, in the USA.

And here's the red bird:

The birds are pretty small. I'd say maybe 4-5 inches from beak to tail. As I said, this nesting behavior started about a week ago.

Can anyone help me identify these birds so I can learn more about them?

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    $\begingroup$ Check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology app Merlin (merlin.allaboutbirds.org) it has a super easy to use and intuitive way to help you ID birds in your yard. You put in the approx size, colors, location, and it gives suggestions with pics and info. Very fun! $\endgroup$
    – selene
    May 16, 2022 at 22:53
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you @selene, that app looks fantastic. I wasn't sure what to put for what the bird was doing so I selected "On a fence or wire" as closest and it listed the house finch as the second search result. I'll definitely be keeping this in my back pocket. 👍 $\endgroup$
    – Kirk Woll
    May 16, 2022 at 23:06
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    $\begingroup$ great! It's pretty forgiving on the location I think so I'm glad it still gave you what you needed :D $\endgroup$
    – selene
    May 16, 2022 at 23:12
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    $\begingroup$ Also check out the iNaturalist app. It is for any recent evidence of life, including observing birds. $\endgroup$
    – Galen
    May 17, 2022 at 16:22

1 Answer 1


House Finches Haemorhous mexicanus (pair).

These birds are mainly permanent residents throughout their range; some northern and eastern birds migrate south. Their breeding habitat is urban and suburban areas across North America, as well as various semi-open areas in the west from southern Canada to the Mexican state of Oaxaca; the population in central Chiapas may be descended from escaped cage birds.

They primarily eat grains, seeds and berries, being voracious consumers of weed seeds such as nettle and dandelion; included are incidental small insects such as aphids. They are frequent visitors to bird feeders throughout the year, particularly if stocked with sunflower or nyjer seed.

Pair, the mail showing red colouring on the cap and breast.

Copyright unknown, via eu.gosanangelo.com 2022, fair usage

The female is the least colourful of the pair, here seen less fluffed-up:

Tawney bird with speckled breast.

Paul Lauenstein (mis-named in this case), via Sharonfoc.org, 2022 fair usage.

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    $\begingroup$ Looks like a match to me, thank you! The birds in your first photo seem a bit portlier than mine. :) I'll wait a bit before accepting as per convention. $\endgroup$
    – Kirk Woll
    May 16, 2022 at 22:25

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