I mentioned in my last photography post that summer is very much “finch season” in my backyard. The American Goldfinches, in particular, visit so frequently that I hang a finch feeder from June through early September, filled with Nyjer seeds and sunflower chips (some of their favorite foods). They also enjoy munching on coneflower and bee balm seeds from the garden.
To my mind, this sweet little yellow bird is a quintessential bird of summer. What’s interesting about them:
1.) They eat an almost exclusively vegetarian diet and tend to breed late in the summer (now) when food is most abundant.
2.) They molt twice a year–and undergo a pretty dramatic transformation when they do. In wintertime, male and female goldfinches have an identical brownish-yellow plumage.
In the spring and summer, male American Goldfinches are vibrant yellow. Their wings are black with white bars, and they don a black cap. Females are a somewhat less vibrant yellow.
3.) They have a “potato chip” call. I promise you, once you hear it, you won’t be able to unhear it:
Also, it’s not a goldfinch, but I wanted to share this photo of a Worm-eating Warbler. In fact, I had never heard of a Worm-eating Warbler until today, when this little guy made a surprise visit to the backyard. I wish the photograph was sharper…if I’m lucky, perhaps, I’ll get another shot.