What’s In My Backyard?

Meet the Neighbors: GoldFinch

For the introduction to this series, see here.

Here is one of the brightest birds that might visit your yard. Goldfinches love sunflower seeds; if you plant sunflowers, they may become regular visitors. In winter the males lose their bright yellow plumage and become a much drabber olive color with black and white wings. They also migrate, so if you live in a place that regularly falls below 0 degrees Fahrenheit you probably will not see them in this winter coloration. These finches eat seeds almost exclusively and only eat insects accidentally if they swallow them along with seeds. The finches have strong conical nutcracker beaks that are well adapted to a seed-heavy diet. Goldfinches tend to nest much later in the year than other birds as in early spring seeds are at a low ebb and it would be hard to find food for hungry nestlings. Later in the summer, there is an abundance of seeds so the birds can easily find food. It is goldfinch time at bird feeders and patches of sunflowers across the country. Have you seen any?

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