The American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) is a small North American bird in the finch family. It is migratory, ranging from mid-Alberta to North Carolina during the breeding season, and from just south of the Canada–United States border to Mexico during the winter.
The only finch in its subfamily to undergo a complete molt, the American goldfinch displays sexual dimorphism in its coloration; the male is a vibrant yellow in the summer and an olive color during the winter, while the female is a dull yellow-brown shade which brightens only slightly during the summer. The male displays brightly colored plumage during the breeding season to attract a mate.
The American goldfinch is a granivore and adapted for the consumption of seedheads, with a conical beak to remove the seeds and agile feet to grip the stems of seedheads while feeding. It is a social bird, and will gather in large flocks while feeding and migrating. It may behave territorially during nest construction, but this aggression is short-lived. Its breeding season is tied to the peak of food supply, beginning in late July, which is relatively late in the year for a finch. This species is generally monogamous, and produces one brood each year.
Human activity has generally benefited the American goldfinch. It is often found in residential areas, attracted to bird feeders which increase its survival rate in these areas. Deforestation also creates open meadow areas which are its preferred habitat.
Rain…rain, and more rain!
While the SouthWest of USA is getting weather temperatures into the 100’s degrees, we are in the SouthEast getting rain every day! Some of the States like Mississippi and Alabama are also getting hit by strong storms and tornados causing extensive damage.
Having rainy days is more difficult for birds to get their meals. If there’s a break from rain from time to time, I take the opportunity to refill their feeders and pray that it doesn’t rain back too soon… Otherwise, the rain washes out everything and spoils all the seeds. It’s a waste of feed.
I have plenty of photos shot before the rain started… in fact, here are some of them for you. Enjoy!
© HJ Ruiz – Avian101
A friend of mine gave me a call to ask me a question about birds. This friend lives about a mile from me. She has only one feeder in her backyard, she loves birds and has been feeding them for years.
She told me the following:
“What’s going on? I found 7 Northern Cardinals laying dead near the feeder! I’ve been feeding them the same brand of feed for long time and never had any problems before.”
I was kind of taken by surprise because I’ve been feeding my birds for 8 years and I haven’t had any casualties that I can tell about.
First, I reassured her that all my birds were looking healthy and were in fact very active with building larger families.
Second, I asked her a series of questions
- Have you change in any way the mode of feeding?
- Do the seeds look the same as always?
- What about their water? Does it have any rare color?
- Have you sprayed any insecticides closed to the feeder?
She said that everything looked normal…
I set a plan to follow:
- Throw away the leftover seeds and wash thoroughly the feeder.
- Buy a new brand of seeds, different type from the previous and refill the feeder.
- Ask other neighbors if they had seen any dead birds in their backyards.
- Observe daily of any changes of color, type or any foreign matter mixed with the seeds.
- If anything rare raises a flag, bag it and call the Animal Protection Dept. and explain that someone has tainted the bird feed.
She’s going to do what I suggested and will call me if there is anything new.
My backyard is more frequented by birds and they seem to be always hungry. My stock of seeds is being finished in less days that usual. I fill the feeders 2 times or sometimes 3 times a day. Depends of how many birds are there trying to feed. If they finish the food in a short time They make me feel bad by perching all around the deck and staring at my windows!… No kidding!
It has been a few days of doing many things at home and about. To start, it was my birthday and five days later it was Tyler’s birthday.
For me it’s just like any regular day but I couldn’t stop Lucy and Tyler to bake me a cake and blow one candle at breakfast time. It was good to have only one candle on the cake otherwise if we had the real number we could’ve incurred into a unstoppable blaze!
For Tyler things were much different, he had a birthday party at school with his classroom friends. He came home with some birthday gifts and happy for he had a lot of fun. He also went out to the movies with some friends. He was happy about that too. I grilled some delicious meat for Lucy and Tyler, he loves to eat hamburgers! Lucy and I love flank steak and I grilled a mean supper delicious piece…I’m drooling on my keyboard now!
Before Tyler’s birthday I painted his room and we rearranged it with new furniture, he loves it ! He’s acting very mature now…he says! After all he’s 7 y.o. now!
Although I had a great deal of fun, doing many great things around the house and inside, I had to wear long sleeve shirts for the reason of some nasty poison oak on my right arm. I’m well now but I felt very uncomfortable while the poisoned skin was affected.
My birds have been very active because the weather has improved to a point of ideal for plants, grass, flowers, trees etc. Everything is green and colorful my shrubs are looking their best, also my trees. All these favorable changes make me happy! The bird families in my backyard have increased their numbers and all look full of health!
These are the birds that accompanied us during our birthdays!