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Photo Submission

Submitted By

Harriet Bell

Charlottesville, VA, United States


I am submitting 3 photos of the same bird. I saw it at my feeder on Dec. 24. It was with other house finches and I believe that is what it is, but it has a color abnormality.


Leucistic birds

House Finch With White Cheeks

27 replies on “house finch with white cheeks”

Ben McIlwaine says:

Interestingly, I just saw this morning during our Feeder Watch in Leesburg VA a female House Finch with white “cheeks” and a white crown. Almost identical to your bird except for the crown and sex.

Celia Carroll says:

I have a female House Finch with white cheeks and patch of white on crown

Celia Carroll says:

I just spotted one female House Finch with white cheeks and irregular patch of white feathers on crown. She was with two males on the sunflower seed feeder here in Santa Monica, CA.

Connie McDowell says:

We also have seen a bird here in San Diego that looks just like that — a male house finch with white cheeks. At first I thought it was a mutation, but the white patches are so uniform that I don’t think that’s the case.

Ava Johnson says:

Hi Connie, this is called leucism. It is the partial absence of pigmentation in an animal. It is not a mutation but it is a condition.

John Rampe says:

We have a male with the same white cheek patches at our feeder in Harker Heights, Texas this spring.

Richard Stovall says:

I have a female House Finch with the same pronounced white cheeks visiting my feeder in Taos NM the last two weeks.

Denise Wilder says:

I have a female house finch with the white cheek patches at my feeder in Española NM this morning.

Alana Codding says:

A unique male house finch – aka haemorhous mexicanus earmufficus – has been hanging out with its fellow finches for several days in our certified bird sanctuary. We live in Eddy County, New Mexico between Artesia and Hope. I first spotted ‘Muffie’ – what else would one call a bird that looks like it’s wearing ear muffs – last Monday, September 16 in the front yard; hubby and I saw it again on Saturday, September 21 in the back yard. Wondering if I’d been hallucinating, I was glad David confirmed my sighting . . . and am ever so grateful to Harriet for posting the photos. Can anyone explain the phenomenon?

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Alana, This is a color variation called Leucism. You can learn more about color variants on our Unusual Birds web page here.

Marcia White says:

I just saw a female house finch with white cheeks at our sunflower feeder. There are other house finches visiting as well.

Marcia White says:

I just reported seeing a female house finch at our sunflower seed feeder along with other house finches. I forgot to add my location. Los Altos, California.

Rod pearson says:

We have a pair of white face finches coming to our feeder after a bad storm. They are pale grey with darker makings.

LJ says:

I have a female house finch with the white cheeks at my feeder as well! I googled because I have never seen that before and found this post. She’s beautiful. I live in San Diego, California.

Carole Rose says:

Today in Monterey, CA I noticed a female or juvenile type House Finch with matching white face cheeks feeding at the feeder with all the other House Finches. Have never seen this variation before. I certainly did a double take on that one! Interesting to see that others have noticed this identical Leucism trait as well.

Hello everyone, I just saw one for the first time with white-cheeks. I also saw a second one with a whitetail. Leucism refers to an abnormality in the deposition of pigment in feathers.

So fantastic that we all have seen them as it’s rare.

Susan says:

I just had a male House Finch with white cheeks. Very cool, couldn’t believe my eyes at first!

Fernando Mejía says:

I have been getting a what I could identify as a female house Finch with conspicuos white cheeks. It is hanging out with other common finches. I am in SouthEast Albuquerque New Mexico. Has anyone else seen one?

Christine Schneider says:

February 8th, 2022 Wykoff, Minnesota
I observed a male Common House Finch with large, matching white patches around his eyes & cheeks. A first for this backyard birder!

D. Carter says:

March 20 2022. Similarly marked bird has been visiting my feeder lately. Travels with flock of house and purple finches (mixed sexes) and a few sparrows and juncos mixed in. No purple or red so I assume it’s female. It also has a large white patch on the nape, and the cheek patches are joined with wide white band. I’m in West Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada).

Becky SZiebro says:

We have had a male at our house with the white markings for the last 8 or 9 months at least. He is with a group but stays consistently, we see him nearly every day.

Becky Ziebro says:

We are in Las Cruces, NM

nancy lund says:

I have your exact bird at my feeder this morning in Utah. It looks just like the house finches it is feeding feeding with except for the white cheeks.

Jim {etermann says:

I have a female with white cheeks camping out in my Snowball Tree outside my living room window. Hoping she decides to settle there for the summer. We’re in Tacoma, Washington.

I have a white cheeked female finch hanging out at my feeder with the other finches. Will try and get a photo. It is just on her cheeks but really white.

Majorie Powey says:

I am in Williamsburg NM in Sierra County.

Kirsten Duell Russell says:

We just had our first house finch with white cheeks visit our seed feeder here is Littleton, CO! We have had our seed feeder up for almost 7 yrs and have a regular group of finches that come by. But this is our first white cheeked finch. Thanks for all the information shared and this great community!!

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