These precious creatures are back in my backyard! The American Goldfinches gave me another visit and of course it was a delightful treat! I enjoy seeing them and shooting their pictures is a real challenge in order to capture their brilliant plumage color. This time I was visited by a happy couple, young and full of energy. To see birds thrive in good health is very rewarding to me like in this case with the goldfinches.
The American goldfinch is a diurnal feeder. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the species is one of the strictest vegetarians in the bird world. It is mainly granivorous, but will occasionally eat insects, which are also fed to its young to provide protein. Its diet consists of the seeds from a wide variety of annual plants, often those of weeds grasses and trees, such as thistle, teasel, dandelion, ragweed, mullein, cosmos, goatsbeard, sunflower, and alder.
The American goldfinch is the state bird of Iowa and New Jersey, where it is called the “eastern goldfinch”, and Washington, where it is called the “willow goldfinch”. It was chosen by schoolchildren in Washington in 1951.
The American Goldfinch is not threatened by human activity, and is widespread throughout its range. The clearing of forests by humans, though harmful to many species, has benefited the American goldfinch. Clearing of woodlands causes declines in numbers of neotropical migrants, while favoring short-distance migrants and permanent residents. This benefits the American Goldfinch both as a short-distance migrant, and because the created open areas are the preferred environment of the bird, where weeds thrive which produce the primary food source of the American Goldfinch.
These bird species I want to continue seeing year after year I’m very fond of them!
Text and photographs © HJ Ruiz – Avian101 References: Wikipedia and Cornell Lab of Ornithology