American Goldfinch – Carduelis tristis – also known as the Eastern Goldfinch (here in Iowa, anyway), Chardonneret jaune (French), Dominiquito viajero (Spanish), Dominiquito triste (Spanish).
This week’s theme is “plastic,” another difficult one for a nature blog. But I managed. Six American Goldfinches on two “plastic” bird feeders.
One of my all-time favorite birds, the American Goldfinch (we call them the “Eastern Goldfinch” around here) is very abundant in Iowa year-round. Goldfinches specifically like thistle and will flock to thistle feeders in great numbers (see above) (at one point last summer I counted 25 Goldfinches at the feeder at one time).
Easily identified by their gold color and small stature, the male distinguishes himself from the female by donning a black cap. The female is without the cap. In the winter, both the male and female molt, with the male losing the cap and getting an “olive brown” color on his head, nape and back. The female molts into an “olive green” color. Thus, the male and female Goldfinches are distinguishable year-round. Goldfinches are also the only bird in its family to molt twice (in spring to the bright yellow, in fall to the dull browns and greens). The birds above appear to be in several different stages of molting (the one male on the right has fully molted into his bright summer plumage, the others don’t appear to have fully molted yet (it’s only April!)).
Taken with the Canon Digital Rebel XT / 350D and a Sigma 70-300mm Lens on April 28, 2007 in Davenport, Iowa.