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American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)


American Goldfinch

Image by Sheldon Faworski with the Explore Scientific ED80-FCD100 with a Canon 80D


The magnificent American Goldfinch is one of the more common birds that reside in the neighborhoods of the 48 contiguous United States.  Since it is a mainly migratory bird, it is mostly seen during the spring, summer, and fall.  Both the male and female are 5” in length.  The breeding male is bright yellow with a black cap.  Its black wings have white barring and its tail is mostly black with a white rump.

The American Goldfinch is common and gregarious and is found in fields, woodlands, roadsides, and neighborhoods.  As an exclusive seed-eating bird, its preferred food sources are thistles and sunflowers.  The song of the male is a lively series of trills and sweet song notes.  Beyond its striking yellow color, another way to identify this bird is as it is flying.  It features an undulating (i.e. “wavy”) flight pattern and naturally emits melodious song notes as it ascends during its flight movement.     

Look and listen to this wonderful bird.  Most fans of the American Goldfinch are so happy to see them as they reappear during spring migration.

Dan George

Dan George and Sheldon Faworski are our newest Explore Alliance Ambassadors



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