Friday, October 8, 2010

American Goldfinch

If you have a feeder in your yard some place in the United States then chances are that you recognize the bright yellow bird above. The American goldfinch is common bird of fields and open woodlands but they are perhaps best known as frequent backyard visitors. They are almost strictly vegetarian, eating seeds they prefer sunflower, thistle, milkweed and nyjer.

Most birds molt once a year but goldfinch molt twice. The first molt is in late winter when the males molt into their bright yellow breeding plumage. The females are a dull yellow color with similar black wing bars, see the photo above. In late summer they will molt again and the males will become a dull yellow similar to the color that the female is year round.

10 comments:

Kate said...

I love these little creatures. I got a thistle feeder for my birthday, but still haven't attracted many of them, but am hoping. I recently spent two weeks at a friend's house in Santa Fe and was mesmerized by the numbers of goldfinches that visited them. So much fun to watch them.

Nikki-ann said...

What a brightly coloured bird! Great photos :)

i beati said...

I miss it atop WVA thistles sandy

ladyfi said...

What an amazing colour they are (when not moulting).

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Oh, they are so pretty and sweet. These are great shots.

Kay L. Davies said...

Beautiful shots of delightful birds. Thank you.

Kay, Alberta

Oskar said...

We love the vibrant yellow in the first picture!

Nubbin wiggles,
Oskar

CherylK said...

How interesting. I didn't know about the molting at all. Those photos are really wonderful.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

We had more Goldfinches than ever this year. Never got a picture like yours though.

Kebeni said...

i love dragonflies, they are so beautiful