Wednesday, January 19, 2011

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)



We have American Goldfinches year around, but have many more during the winter.  They are one of our most common feeder birds.  When the Goldfinches start really getting into their breeding plumage in the spring, most head north.


"The goldfinch’s main natural habitats are weedy fields and floodplains, where plants such as thistles and asters are common. They’re also found in cultivated areas, roadsides, orchards, and backyards. American Goldfinches can be found at feeders any time of year, but most abundantly during winter."  (From The Cornell Lab of Ornithology where there are many more photos and more information about these beautiful little bird.)




I'm not much of a birder, but I believe the top photo is a male and the bottom a female.  If anyone with more experience disagrees, I'll be glad to make a correction in this post.  Both birds were at the feeder hanging outside our dining nook window.  Many people feed thistle seeds to Goldfinches and I'm sure the birds enjoy them, but our Goldfinches have never refused the sunflower seeds we feed.  








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24 comments:

Pat - Arkansas said...

Beautiful little birds. I have them here, too. I need to restock my Niger Thistle feeder and put it out.

I really like your bird feeder.

NicoleB said...

What little Beauties! I like Finches. They have some sort of attitude :D

That feeder is lovely too!

Jedediah said...

The markings on the male are gorgeous. The feeder is a neat idea!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think you are right Marvin. Your goldfinches sure like the feeder Jo made. We had 10 at our feeders this morning. That is good for us. It is snowing here again.

Marvin said...

Pat: I'm sure your Goldfinches will appreciate the thistle treat.

Nicole: Yes, a little bird with a big attitude is and accurate description.

Jennifer: The males almost seem to have a "golden glow" when in their breeding plumage.

Lisa: Occasionally a finch will choose the feeder as an overnight roost.

NicoleB said...

:-D

Roger Owen Green said...

APPEALING bird
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

A piece of news said...

I'm in Iowa, summer home to the goldfinch. I love watches them dart around outside my office window. Nice bird feeder, too.

Marvin said...

Roger: Thanks for the visit and alphabetically correct comment. :-)

A Piece of News: I'm glad you enjoy our Goldfinches. :-)

helenmac said...

They never seem phased by anything -- cold, bigger birds, house finches! We enjoy the full blown yellow of their summer foliage up here in Michigan when they have left you!
HelenMac, ABC Team

Carver said...

I love the American goldfinches and I enjoyed your shots of them. I have a lot of them in the summer but I rarely see them in the winter.

MyMaracas said...

I think you're right about the sexes. Nice clear shots there, and I love that feeder.

I was so disappointed the first year I put out a feeder for the finches, because I expected them to be yellow all year. Still, they are cute.

And thanks for the tip about the squirrels at my place.

MyMaracas said...

I think you're right about the sexes. Nice clear shots there, and I love that feeder.

I was so disappointed the first year I put out a feeder for the finches, because I expected them to be yellow all year. Still, they are cute.

And thanks for the tip about the squirrels at my place.

ramblingwoods.com said...

I have many goldfinch and visiting redpolls at both the thistle and sunflower seed feeders especially with the very cold weather we are having. I love the feeder that your wife made Marvin.....Michelle

holdingmoments said...

Lovely looking birds. Quite different to our Goldfinches here.

Gary said...

A great bird and beautiful shots!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Sondra said...

I love this time of year when the males put on that bright yellow coloring---they dont stick around here to breed but they turn before leaving much of the time and if a storm blows through they come back down to visit--and then come fall they come to winter with us.

mick said...

Lovely photos of the Goldfinches.

Andrew said...

Lovely birds to see and well captured.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Great pictures. We had goldfinches at our feeders back when we had our house in Oregon. Back then we fed only black oil sunflower seeds b/c we were working and that was just about all the feeder we had time to handle! Most birds seemed to enjoy them. We'd even scatter them on the ground sometimes for the ground feeders (and occasionally got a nice sunflower crop ;>)

eileeninmd said...

Great photos, the Goldfinches are sweet looking birds. Love the colorful male in the summer months.

bailey-road.com said...

Great post! I love to watch these beautiful little birds.

Pat Ulrich said...

It's always fun to see these lovely birds!

Springman said...

Cool feeders Marvin! Like the rest of us Northerners I can't wait to see see those bright yellow feathers, the official beginning of spring!