#American #state #id
American state id
American Goldfinch Identification
Often feeds on small-seeded plants such as thistles. Breeding males have black cap, wings, and tail; bright yellow body.
Breeding females are duller yellow beneath and more olive above than breeding males.
Immatures are brown above and pale yellow below, shading to buff on the sides. Two buffy wingbars mark their dark wings.
Females/immatures are pale yellow below and don’t have streaked underparts.
Balances on the seedheads of thistles, dandelions, and other plants to pluck seeds.
Frequently feeds in flocks at sunflower and nyjer seed feeders.
Despite having a fairly small bill for a finch, goldfinches can crack and remove the hard shells of sunflowers, then crush the seed inside before swallowing.
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The Four Keys to ID
Smaller than a Tufted Titmouse
sparrow-sized or smaller
- Both Sexes
- Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
- Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz (11-20 g)
- Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)
Adult males in spring and early summer are bright yellow with black forehead, black wings with white markings, and white patches both above and beneath the tail. Adult females are duller yellow beneath, olive above. Winter birds are drab, unstreaked brown, with blackish wings and two pale wingbars.
These are active and acrobatic little finches that cling to weeds and seed socks, and sometimes mill about in large numbers at feeders or on the ground beneath them. Goldfinches fly with a bouncy, undulating pattern and often call in flight, drawing attention to themselves.
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.