The House Finch is a bird in the finch family. Adults have a long, square-tipped brown tail and are a brown or dull-brown color across the back with some shading into deep gray on the wing feathers. Breast and belly feathers may be streaked; the flanks usually are. In most cases, adult males heads, necks and shoulders are reddish. This color sometimes extends to the stomach and down the back, between the wings. Male coloration varies in intensity with the seasons and is derived from the berries and fruits in its diet. As a result, the colors range from pale straw-yellow through bright orange to deep, intense red. Adult females have brown upperparts and streaked underparts.
These birds are mainly permanent residents; some eastern birds migrate south. Their breeding habitat is urban and suburban areas in the East as well as various semi-open areas in the West from southern Canada to northern Florida and the Mexican state of Oaxaca; the population in central Chiapas may be descended from escaped cagebirds.