American Goldfinch

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Carduelis Tristis

American Goldfinch

Males have bright yellow plumage except for their glossy black forehead, glossy black wings with white markings and white patches both above and beneath their tail.

Females have an olive-brown upper plumage, pale olive-yellow below and dull brownish-black wings.

Juveniles have dull brown back, pale yellow bellow and dull black with buff-colored markings on their wings and rump.

BILL: black, thick and slightly hooked.

SIZE: large, measuring about 4.3 – 5.5 inches long, with a wingspan of 7.5 – 8.7 inches.

WEIGHT: weighs about 11 – 20 grams.

COLOR: bright yellow, glossy black, white, olive-brown, olive-yellow, brownish-black, pink, orange, and buff.

Primary Diet:  herbivore (granivore).

Animal Foods: insects.

Plant Foods: seeds, grains, and nuts.

Open habitats, such as fields, meadows, flood plains and orchards, and in urban gardens, where they are attracted to bird feeders.

SUMMER - Southern Canada to Colorado, and east to the Carolinas in the United States.

WINTER - South to southern and southeastern United States (northeastern Texas east to northern South Carolina and south to Florida) and eastern and central Mexico.

Contact calls: "tsee-tsi-tsi-tsit" or "po-ta-to-chip" or "per-chic-o-ree."

Songs: musical "rambling", "warbling" or "twitters."

Juvenile Call: chick-kee or chick-wee - often used shortly before fledging.

Defense Calls: a sweeet call (to rally other goldfinches to the nest); and bearbee to signal to the nestlings to remain quiet and crouch down.

NEST: cup-shaped nest, built by the female, made with roots, weeds, grasses, and plant down, positioned in a tree or bush, with spider silk to bind the outer layer together to strengthen and have flexibility.

EGGS: 4 - 6 pale blue, oval-shaped eggs.

INCUBATION: 12 - 15 days, female only.

FLEDGLING PHASE: 11 - 17 days.

They are diurnal and social, generally found foraging in small groups. They are migratory, migrating between summer and winter.

The oldest known American Goldfinch was 10 years and 5 months old.

American Goldfinch Infographic






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