Sunday, August 29, 2010

Goldfinch heaven

The American Goldfinch is also known as Wild Canary or Eastern Goldfinch. I see sights like these photographs -  sent by one of my best friends - every day. Taken by a friend of hers she said they remind her of the view out my kitchen window. Lovely images I wanted to share with all of you.

I too have a feeder just outside my window which looks out over a small plot of hostas and ferns with a humming bird and niger feeder hanging in the branches of the large weeping birch that makes an umbrella of shade and protection for the birds.

Always fun to see so much activity throughout the day as different birds show up to grab a snack. One of the loveliest things about these little birds is that they sing while they fly - in time to the swoops their flight path makes. They are easily distinguished from other birds by this call and flight pattern.

From Wikipedia: The American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis), also known as the Eastern Goldfinch andWild Canary, is a North American bird in the finch family. It is migratory, ranging from southern Canada to North Carolina during the breeding season, and from just south of the Canadian border to Mexico during the winter.
The only finch in its subfamily which undergoes 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 months, 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 installed by humans, which increases its survival rate in these areas. Deforestation by humans also creates open meadow areas which are the preferred habitat of the American Goldfinch.

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