Because in most parts of the country one or more types of finches may be year round resi-dents, they make a major contribution to the natural pest control system in residential yards. In their ongoing search for food resident and visiting finches patrol your property for seeds and ani-mal protein. They eat a wide variety of seeds, berries, fruits and insects, and when they are raising their young, they concentrate on the insects. Young finches are not able to digest seeds at first, so their diet is insects and caterpillars.
Purple finches prey on aphids, Colorado potato beetles, cucumber beetles, flea beetles, other beetles, caterpillars, leafhoppers and leafminers. They will also eat spruce budworms. In fact, when the budworm population is low, birds will consume 84 percent of the budworm pupae. This drops to 22 percent when the budworm pupae population is average and even lower when the spruce budworm population is large.
House finches and goldfinches eat beetles, aphids and caterpillars as do the young birds.
In the spring, as much as half the goldfinches’ diet is composed of insects that they eat and feed to their young.
|Lunch For Finches|
|Aphids||Colorado potato beetles||Cucumber beetles|
|Asparagus beetle||Mexican bean beetle||Japanese beetle|
|Flea beetles||Other beetles||Caterpillars|