Skywatch Friday – American Goldfinch

by John Briggs on March 6, 2009

in Bird Photographs, Blog, Skywatch Friday

All winter long, the American Goldfinch has been visiting our feeders. At this time, the molting cycle is beginning with the males getting splotches of bright yellow mixed in around their faces and neck.

The Goldfinch has brought visitors to our feeders this winter. Pine Siskins, at times nearing 100 birds, mix in with the Goldfinches. It’s comical to watch when these two species are mixed together. First to come to the feeders are the Goldfinches who begin eating thistle and watch for any danger. As it seems that the coast is clear, the Siskins fly in. The feeding station becomes standing room only, and that is at a premium. The slightest hint that something is amiss and the whole flock takes off in a cloud of fury! All it takes is a call from a Blue Jay, or a movement from inside our house. After a minute or so, they all swarm back.

Another species that has been riding along with the Goldfinches are the Common Redpoll. Again, I have had 100+ of these beautiful birds at the feeding stations in our yard at any one time. The Redpolls are not as quick to take flight when the other birds are spooked. They even allowed me to stand in front of our picture window and take video of them without being spooked. (See Common Redpolls – Video)

It won’t be much longer and  the male American Goldfinches will have their bright yellow plumage back. Even the females turn a brighter olive color. When late Summer early Fall returns to Maine, the Goldfinches will bring their young to the feeders and show them the bounty we have set forth for them.

For Skywatch Friday, I leave you this photo of an American Goldfinch with a cloudless blue sky as the backdrop. Enjoy!


American Goldfinch | Click for larger view

American Goldfinch | Click for larger view

If you want to see the full-sized image, hit F11 to put your browser in full screen mode. Then you may click the image for full-sized view. The image is long, so if you don’t go full screen, you won’t see the full size.


Happy birding!

Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday




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