Birding goldfinch

Published on November 30th, 2013 | by Backyards Made Better

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Backyard Birds – Goldfinches Galore



This handsome little finch, the state bird of New Jersey, Iowa, and Washington, is welcome and common at feeders, where it takes primarily sunflower and nyjer.

Goldfinches often flock with Pine Siskins and Common Redpolls.

Spring males are brilliant yellow and shiny black with a bit of white.

Females and all winter birds are more dull but identifiable by their conical bill; pointed, notched tail; wingbars; and lack of streaking. During molts they look bizarrely patchy.

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.

To encourage goldfinches into your yard, plant native thistles and other composite plants, as well as native milkweed. Almost any kind of bird feeder may attract American Goldfinches, including hopper, platform, and hanging feeders, and these birds don’t mind feeders that sway in the wind.

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