Bird Introduction-American Goldfinch
Bird Introduction-American Goldfinch:
This handsome little finch is the state bird of New Jersey, Iowa, and Washington. They are welcomed and common at Birdfy, where it takes primarily sunflower and nyjer.
Spring males are brilliant yellow and shiny black with a bit of white. Females and all winter birds are more dull but identifiable by their conical bills; pointed, notched tails. During molts, they look bizarrely patchy.
Scientific Name: Spinus tristis
Lifespan: 3-6 years(average)
Size: 4.3–5.5 inches
Weight: 0.39–0.71 ounces (11–20 grams)
Wingspan: 7.5–8.7 inches
American Goldfinch Distribution and Habitat:
The American goldfinch is a short-distance migrant, moving south in response to colder weather and lessened food supply. This responsive, southerly migratory pattern is thought to begin to occur as daily low temperatures approach freezing, particularly as these temperatures near 0 °F. Its winter range includes southern Canada and stretches south through the United States to parts of Mexico.
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.
American Goldfinch in the backyard:
Remember to check birdseed for spoilage. The seed should be fresh and dry to cater to goldfinches' tastes, so use baffles to keep it dry and opt for feeders where air can circulate around the seed to keep it from molding. Clean up hulls and spill seed underneath bird feeders. This will minimize the risk of spreading diseases to finches foraging on the ground or to other ground-feeding birds such as sparrows and doves.
American Goldfinch Breeding:
Once a male has found a mate, he selects a territory, marking the boundaries by warbling as he flies from perch to perch.
The nest is built in late summer by the female in the branches of a deciduous shrub or tree at a height of up to 10 m (33 ft). The nest-building lasts approximately six days, during which time the female works in 10–40 minute increments. The male frequently flies with the female as she collects nesting materials, and though he may carry some materials back to the nest, he leaves its construction to the female.
American Goldfinch and its similar species:
Lesser Goldfinch-Small finch with a conical bill. Adult males are yellow below with a glossy black cap and white patches on the wings. Their backs can be solid glossy black or dull green, particularly west of the Rockies.