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American Goldfinch

It's high time that I had a bird on here - after all, birds are in the title of this blog! So here's some ornithological eye candy, the American Goldfinch, Spinus tristis. This stunning male was photographed in Adams County, as it plundered thistle feed from one of John Howard's feeders. Goldfinches are nearly vegan, you know.

Goldfinches are late nesters, and kicking it into high gear about now. This is one of our most common bird species, and rare to non-existent is the field trip that doesn't produce "wild canaries". Abundant though they are, American Goldfinch ranks very high on the list of our showiest birds. Males are also noteworthy in that they may have the most conspicuous molt of any of our songbirds. The transformation of the males from somber winter plumage into the Day-Glo electric lemon of summer is noted and remarked upon by scores of backyard bird-watchers.


KaHolly said…
The American Goldfinch is one of my favorite backyard birds!!
Brent C. Kryda said…
Whenever I pine away (no pun intended) for the flora of the southeast and especially Florida, I remember instead to feel fortunate that I live up here in the summer lands of said finch to be able to see such bright plumage. Down south in its wintering grounds they don't get to see a bright yellow bird so much as a subdued brown bird.

This is one of those nice opposites where you have to leave the (sub) tropics behind to get some color.
Lilac Haven said…
We have several busy goldfinches in our backyard. I put some fiber from my angora rabbits into a feed holder and the goldfinches have been back and forth gathering it to line their nests for about a month. Those babies will be living in luxury.
Anonymous said…
Unknown said…
I live in columbus and I have them here on a daily basis I have thistle socks out do they feed in the winter the same as in the summer or should I take the sock down?

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