No, he’s not particularly gold — but this is winter, and if he’s going to get his breeding plumage, it will come in a couple of weeks.
We’ve had Niger thistle seed feeders out for years; this year one goldfinch (Spinus tristis) finally started to visit. We’ve had as many as four at a time — but they’re probably headed north soon.
Here’s a shot of our first guest, from a couple of weeks ago.
If you’re north of Dallas, and you see this guy at your feeder this summer, tell him “hello” from us.
The non-breeding plumage isn’t so flashy as the bright yellow of the breeding males. Some of the finches settle in to a beautiful, smooth olive-drab livery for much of the winter. Close up, they look like good pen-ink-drawings by a master artist.
- FOR THE BIRDS: Signs of Spring (courierpress.com)
- Looking for the Details (kestrelsmusings.wordpress.com)
- American Goldfinch – the Vegetarian (mentalhealthed.com)
- Goldfinches eating well (mysanantonio.com)
- For National Bird Feeding Month in February, Just Feed Birds and Make a World of Difference (prweb.com)
- The Arctic Tern, American Goldfinch, and Me (becomingnotbecame.org)
- So How Beneficial is Feeding Backyard Birds? (gardenwalkgardentalk.com)