The House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus, is ubiquitous across North America. But looking at the taxonomic name, we get a hint that this is a bird with a history. You see, before the 1940s, this bird was found only in Mexico and the western United States. What happened was some enterprising individuals started to sell these birds on the East Coast under the name “Hollywood Finch”. This was and still is a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. As the story goes, the enterprising individuals released their stocks on Long Island in New York. The House Finch has been successfully expanding their territory ever since.
These two House Finches were seen in the Palm Springs, California and are therefore in their native range.