Male goldfinch not so golden in winter months

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This photo shows a male American goldfinch in winter plumage. During summer the male American goldfinch is a bright yellow with a black cap and mostly black wings.

American goldfinches eat small seeds such as thistle, ragweed and sunflower. They will often come to bird feeders where thistle seed is included. Sometimes they will feed in small flocks.

During spring and summer these birds like open areas where weeds grow such as old fields and roadsides. To attract them to your summer garden, plant flowers such as zinnias and cosmos. The American goldfinch is a native North American songbird with a summer range into Canada and a winter range into Mexico.

Common predators of the American goldfinch include those that eat eggs such as blue jays, squirrels and snakes. Predators that prey upon fledgelings as well as adults include the common house cat and hawks.

Through the Woods is a weekly nature photo column by Aaron Horrell. Find this column at semissourian.com to order a reprint of the photo. Find more work by him at the O'Tenem Gallery.

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