My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

American Goldfinches

These are a few of the photos of American Goldfinches that I was able to capture this last summer. Rather than type out a description of these cheerful little birds, I stole this from Wikipedia.

The American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis), also known as the Eastern Goldfinch and Wild Canary, is a small North American bird in the finch family. It is migratory, ranging from mid-Alberta to North Carolina during the breeding season, and from just south of the Canadian border to Mexico during the winter.

The only finch in its subfamily that undergoes a complete molt, the American Goldfinch displays sexual dimorphism in its coloration; the male is a vibrant yellow in the summer and an olive color during the winter months, while the female is a dull yellow-brown shade which brightens only slightly during the summer. The male displays brightly colored plumage during the breeding season to attract a mate.

The American Goldfinch is a granivore and adapted for the consumption of seed heads, with a conical beak to remove the seeds and agile feet to grip the stems of seed heads while feeding. It is a social bird, and will gather in large flocks while feeding and migrating. It may behave territorially during nest construction, but this aggression is short-lived. Its breeding season is tied to the peak of food supply, beginning in late July, which is relatively late in the year for a finch. This species is generally monogamous, and produces one brood each year.

On to the photos.

Male and feale American Goldfinches

Male and female American Goldfinches

Female American goldfinch enjoying the sunshine

Female American goldfinch enjoying the sunshine

Male American goldfinch singing

Male American goldfinch singing

Male American goldfinch in flight

Male American goldfinch in flight

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Male American Goldfinch singing

Male American Goldfinch singing

Juvenile American goldfinch

Juvenile American goldfinch

Female American goldfinch coming in for a landing

Female American goldfinch coming in for a landing

Female American goldfinch

Female American goldfinch

Female American goldfinch

Female American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch in flight

Male American goldfinch in flight

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch in flight

Male American goldfinch in flight

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

If you noticed, there were a couple of photos of the males singing to attract mates. I love hearing their song, and it’s one of the best ways to locate them. On warm, sunny, late-winter days, you can often hear the males “warming up” for the mating season, singing part, or all of their songs, it’s a sure sign that spring is approaching.

Advertisements

11 responses

  1. Great post and great photos, Jerry. Happy Holidays to you. 🙂

    December 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    • Thanks, and Happy Holidays to you and Ann!

      December 22, 2012 at 8:55 pm

  2. Great pictures as usual! This is one of the few birds I can identify and I love their song. I didn’t know that they ate thistle seed-i wondered who was eating all of those.

    December 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    • Thanks, and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

      December 22, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      • Same to you Jerry-Have a Merry Christmas!

        December 23, 2012 at 7:51 am

  3. The American goldfinch pictures are awesome!

    December 22, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    • Thank you! I won’t tell any one how many bad shots I had to go through to pick out the good ones. 🙂

      December 22, 2012 at 10:21 pm

  4. Northern Narratives

    One of my favorite birds. Great photos. Merry Christmas.

    December 23, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    • Thanks, and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

      December 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm

  5. Goldfinches are awesome- great shots here!

    December 31, 2012 at 11:39 am

    • Thank you, I have set the bar quite high for any future shots I take. That’s OK, I do like a challenge.

      December 31, 2012 at 1:17 pm