Birds of Summer: American Goldfinch

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:

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/251971631/embed


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.

15 responses to “Birds of Summer: American Goldfinch”

  1. There are a lot of goldfinch around here. I learned more about them in your post. Beautiful photos. Haven’t seen a worm-eating warbler but wish some would come and eat the gypsy moth worms that will be back in the spring.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Such beautiful pictures. You make it look easier than it is. It’s very hard to photograph birds. I’ve struggled in vain lol. I finally stuck to landscapes and other stuff. I liked learning more about goldfinches. Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great photos 🙂 I actually really like the ones in which the gold finch has a little brown in its feathers…it’s such a soft and inviting color in contrast to their vibrant yellow…a time for every season..perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

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