American Goldfinch

March 12, 2014

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The state bird of Iowa, New Jersey and Washington, the American Goldfinch is a small migratory bird from the finch family that will move south in response to cold weather and lessened food supply. They have a short conical bill, a small head, long wings and a notched tail. The male finches are a vibrant yellow with black forehead and white markings during the summer and spring and an olive during the winter months.

The females are a dull yellow brown which brightens slightly during the summer months. The American Goldfinches are active birds that cling to weeds and hang around large feeders. They prefer open country where there is an abundance of weeds, their natural habitats are weedy fields, meadows, flood plains, orchards and gardens.

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The American Goldfinch also known as Eastern Goldfinch is the strictest vegetarian in the bird world. They mainly eat seeds from wide variety of annual plants which includes teasel, dandelion, thistle, ragweed, cosmos, goatsbeard, mullein, sunflower, and alder. They also feed from feeders especially during the winter months and prefer Niger seeds.

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Mating season for the Goldfinch doesn’t begin until late July. After successfully finding a mate the male would then select the place for its nest. The pair would gather materials for the nest, but only the female will build the nest. Goldfinches lay four to six pale blue/white eggs and only the female incubates the eggs.

The Goldfinch is not threatened by human activity and they are frequently found in residential areas, eating from feeders containing thistle seeds.

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