American Goldfinch – Carduelis tristis – also known as the Eastern Goldfinch (here in Iowa, anyway), Chardonneret jaune (French), Dominiquito viajero (Spanish), Dominiquito triste (Spanish).
American Goldfinches molt twice a year. Males molt once into their bright, black-capped, breeding plumage in the Spring (above), and once into their dull, non-breeding plumage in the Fall. For the male’s non-breeding plumage, which is olive brown and without the black cap, click here. The male in this photo has only a partially black cap, as he has not fully molted.
Females do not have the black cap at any time of the year. In their breeding plumage, females are duller than males but are more easily distinguished by their lack of a black cap. In their non-breeding plumage, the females distinguish themselves from the males (who have lost their black cap in their Fall molt) by their olive-green color (the males, as stated above, molt to an olive-brown).
This male sat for awhile and sang a song on top of the feeder.
Female breeding / summer plumage here.
Male non-breeding / winter plumage here.
Photo taken with the Canon Digital Rebel XT / 350D and a Sigma 70-300mm Lens on April 20, 2008 in Davenport, Iowa.
Video taken with an Aiptek IS-DV video camera “scoped” through a pair of Bushnell 10×25 binoculars.