Finches typically have strong, stubby beaks – making them mainly seed-eaters. The basic plumage color is brownish, sometimes greenish; many have considerable amounts of black, while white plumage is generally absent except as wing-bars or other signaling marks. Bright yellow and red pigments are common in this family, and therefore blue colors are rather rare.
Finches typically inhabit well-wooded areas, but some can be found on mountains or even in deserts. Finches have a bouncy flight, alternating flapping with closed-wing gliding. The nests are basket-shaped and usually built in trees, or similar sheltered areas. Bird-predators of the finch include jays, magpies, kestrels, hawks and owls.