Yellow House Finches House Finch with normal, diet-related color variation by David Smith, Grand Junction, Colorado FeederWatchers often report seeing strangely colored House Finches that they believe have xanthrochroism. However, House Finch coloration varies widely, and research has shown than most of the variation is diet-related rather than a pigment abnormality. All male House Finches have the same potential for yellow, orange, or red coloration. Researchers who kept House Finches in captivity found that the red plumage was replaced by yellow plumage unless a carotenoid pigment was mixed in with their food during molt. House Finch with normal, diet-related color variation by Errol Taskin, Shreveport, Louisiana In the wild, three carotenoid pigments found in natural foods give House Finches their color. Beta-carotene produces yellow to orange colors, isocryptoxanthin produces orange colors, and echinenone produces red colors. Yellow House Finches are frequently seen in the southwest and Hawaii where natural foods are low in some of these carotenoids. In the east birds often feed on the high-carotenoid fruits of ornamental plants.