The true Finches. Often seed-eating birds of the Northern Hempishere. Small to moderately large with strong, stubby beaks, which in some species can be quite large. All have 12 tail feathers and 9 primaries. They have a bouncing flight, alternating bouts of flapping with gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. Their nests are basket-shaped and built in trees.
There are many birds in other families which are often called finches. Several groups of the Emberizidae family (buntings and American sparrows) are also named as finches, as are Darwin's Finches of the Galapagos islands, which provided evidence of natural selection.