My New Book


Goldfinch Variations


Ah, the goldfinch nesting season is underway.  They are numerous and feisty at the feeders.  There are so many that I’m able to see some interesting variations.  Above is a typical goldfinch, note how the black cap goes from the base of his beak to his eye.  Check out this dude:


He’s been like this for a few weeks. At first, I thought he was molting weird. But his breeding plumage seems to be firmly in place, he has some kind of odd pigment issues that’s causing the yellow to blend into his cap.  He sticks out as soon as he hits the feeder ever without binoculars.  I’ll be curious to see if he finds a mate.

light finch

Another interesting goldfinch is the male above on the right, he’s a bit lighter than the other males–at least where he’s yellow.  His black parts all appear to be the same.  I’m not sure if he’s a little light or if it’s a dietary issue.

3 comments to Goldfinch Variations

  • I’ve always loved the goldfinches – yellow is my favorite color.

  • We love this time of the year when we have several goldfinche families chowing down on the coneflower seeds in the yard. Hope you are well and enjoying your summer!

  • Kitanne

    I was just up north near Tower at a relative’s house and there were tons of goldfinches at their feeder. They are so mellow! There were three males just
    hanging out pecking at seeds on the platform although they did keep their crests raised more than I’ve ever seen. And the most yellow female ever! She was as yellow as a bright male and the other females looked positively brown next to her. She did have the brightest, most feisty mate as well so I’m assuming her brightness was a good thing.