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Posts Tagged ‘american goldfinch’

American Goldfinch in dried Monarda (Bee Balm) patch; with a lone Coreopsis (Unknown Sunflower):

 

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A Female American Goldfinch perched on a Thistle head:

 

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The American Goldfinches are busy nesting now. They nest later than other songbirds each year (usually late June – early July). They wait until the native seed crop is plentiful and then disappear from thistle tube feeders for about one month; only to return in late July – August with their fledglings. I photographed this male American Goldfinch pulling seeds from a native thistle seed head yesterday, and the one above in a valley with piles of deadwood where they often nest:

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I have been feeding the American Goldfinches all winter long (since November 15) and I probably have about 150-200 finches at this time. Very few House and Purple finches have visited the feeders so far. I have 4 tube feeders with Nijer Seed and they are always full of hungry finches. This has cost me $120+ per month this year. There are 2 River Birches that they line up on; in a feeding queue, and wait their turn at the feeders. It becomes really chaotic at times.

Lately there has been more fights and and quarrels than in past weeks; they are also beginning to show some yellow from an ongoing molt. These birds do not nest until late summer; when the seeds are plentiful, but will take Nijer seed all year around. American Goldfinch males will turn bright yellow within 30-45 days and the females will stay an olive-yellow color. The males also have a completely black forehead after the molt is complete.

 

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It is very unusual to see a banded bird here in NW Arkansas (for me anyway). Here is an American Goldfinch with a double band on its leg. She is feasting on the huge thistle crop this year. Goldfinches are late nesters here in Arkansas; they wait for the seed crop to come in – so they are just now starting nesting, as the other birds are winding down their nesting activity:

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Just a few from a glorious Sunday afternoon April 14th. (Northern Cardinal, female Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow Rumpped Warbler, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher on the nest, makle Eastern Bluebird, male American Goldfinch, Blue Gray Gnatcahtcher, Red-headed Woodpeckers):

 

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Just when the leaves are starting to get pretty, the male American Goldfinch goes through its own transition to a more neutral olive color. It happens every October and by mid-November the molt is complete for the coming winter months. The yellow will start to return to their feathers in mid-March and by the end of April they will be a striking yellow and black once again: This photo taken this morning shows the yellow feathers disappearing just before the rain began:

October male American Finch

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