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American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

Posted by Grange Co-op on 4th Oct 2013

SUMMER MALE: Yellow body; black patch on forehead; black wings with white wing bars; black tail with conspicuous white rump.

SUMMER FEMALE: Dull olive yellow overall without a black forehead, with brownish-black wings and tail and whitish wing bars.

WINTER MALE: Similar to summer female, yellowish brown with yellow wash on face and chin; black wings with white wing bars.

WINTER FEMALE: Grayish brown, with little yellow; dark brown wings with white wing bars.

American GoldfinchNESTING:

Late summer nesting, uses the silky down from wild thistle for nest material. Female builds a cup nest 4-20ft. above the ground in the fork of a bush, shrub, or small tree. Tightly woven nest of plant fibers, grass, cocoon silk and spider silk, lined with fur or plant down. Females incubate 4-6 pale blue eggs.


Gleans vegetations for thistle seeds, insects, flower buds and berries. Readily comes to bird feeders, preferring hulled sunflower and nyger/thistle seeds.


Tube thistle feeders, thistle socks, Magnum thistle feeder, Forever thistle feeder. Shop Wild Bird Feeders.


Sunflower chips, nyger/thistle, black oil sunflower, and Rogue Chickadee. Shop Wild Bird Food.


Open areas with some shrubs and trees, farms, suburban yards & gardens. Common year-round resident; less widespread in winter seen in flocks of up to 20 birds that wander in search of food.


The Goldfinch is a highly social bird, often called “Wild Canary.” Its bright yellow plumage and roller-coaster- like, undulating appearance in flight are hard to miss. Two songs: a long canary-like song and a short forceful warble; calls include “sweeyeet,” “beerbee,” and a “perchicoree” flight call.


Lesser Goldfinch is smaller and has a black cap, green back, not as bright yellow belly, and white patch on wings. Unchanging plumage year-round.

Yellow Warbler is all yellow with orange streaks on the chest.

Pine Siskins may share nyger feeders, but are brown-streaked overall with yellow on wings and base of tail, not always immediately visible in perched birds.

Would you like to attract birds to your yard? We’ve got a great selection of products to help you and your feathered friends get together. Shop our Wild Bird department now.