According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the species is one of the strictest vegetarians in the bird world. American Goldfinch Female 804868.  In some winter ranges, the goldfinches lose all traces of yellow, becoming a predominantly medium tan-gray color with an olive tinge evident only on close viewing.  The rim is reinforced with bark bound by spiderwebs and caterpillar silk, and the cup is lined with plant down from milkweed, thistle, or cattail. In the spring, the American goldfinch feeds on the catkins hanging from birches and alders by pulling one up with its beak and using its toes to hold the catkin still against the branch. , The American goldfinch is occasionally victim to brood parasites, particularly brown-headed cowbirds.  The female is mostly brown, lighter on the underside with a yellow bib. , The American goldfinch prefers open country where weeds thrive, such as fields, meadows, flood plains, as well as roadsides, orchards, and gardens.  There are two defense calls made by adults during nesting; a sweet call made to rally other goldfinches to the nest and distract predators, and a bearbee used to signal to the nestlings to quiet them and get them to crouch down in the nest to become less conspicuous. white background, American Goldfinch bird, Walton County, Georgia USA. Males sing from high, exposed perches. It is often found in residential areas, attracted to bird feeders which increase its survival rate in these areas. This coloration is the same in both sexes. The shape and size of the beak aid in the extraction of seeds from the seed heads of thistles, sunflowers, and other plants. Even in January and February many males have a few bright yellow feathers showing, but otherwise the gray-brown nonbreeding males can be hard to tell from females. A female American goldfinch Spinus tristis at a bird feeder, in the rain, American Goldfinch perched on a thistle stem. It may behave territorially during nest construction, but this aggression is short-lived.  It was chosen by schoolchildren in Washington in 1951. In southern ranges, during winter, they remain in areas similar to the fields and flood plains where they live during the summer months.  American Gold Finch female, A male American goldfinch Spinus tristis feeding. A male American goldfinch Spinus tristis feeds on the seeds of a hawkweed plant on Struve Slough in California, Tiny male American goldfinch seen perched in its vibrant yellow spring plumage. On plum tree branch, American Goldfinch Spinus Tristis female. A Female American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) in summer plumage feeding in habitat, American Goldfinch Female. Once the spring molt is complete, the body of the male is a brilliant lemon yellow, a color produced by carotenoid pigments from plant materials in its diet, with a striking jet black cap and white rump that is visible during flight. The head-up display, where the neck and legs are slightly extended, shows mild aggression, and is often performed by the victor of an encounter. Often feeds on small-seeded plants such as thistles. Similar looking birds to American Goldfinch: Lesser Goldfinch Adult male, Lesser Goldfinch Female/immature, Lawrence's Goldfinch Male, Lawrence's Goldfinch Female, Pine Siskin Adult (Northern), Evening Grosbeak Adult male Adult female American goldfinch perched in an apple tree in the spring, Small Female American Goldfinch Perched Green Plant Leaves. Small finch with a short, conical bill and a short, notched tail.
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