A Blog Around The Clock

Pretty bird

i-4a31388aa142fbb4f257a57b02cd72fa-American Goldfinch.jpgI have never seen these birds around here before, yet, over the last few days I saw tons of them all over the place. Where did they come from? Why do they seem to still be paired this late in the summer?

At first, I saw them flying, mostly from the car, and their flight is undulating, almost pulsating. Then, yesterday when I was walking the dog, I followed a pair around, from tree to tree, until I managed to get a good look at one of them for a good minute or so. I was surprised at how much larger they look in flight than when sitting still.

Anyway, after getting a good look, I went home and figured out that this is definitely American Goldfinch. I don’t have right kind of photo equipment to take a picture of such a small and flighty bird from a distance, so I am showing you a picture found on the Internet instead. A beautiful bird!


  1. #1 coffee mug
    August 30, 2006

    where are you at again? i think i followed one of these around boulder, co like 3 or 4 weeks ago except it was a little greener.. i had never seen anything like it before..

  2. #2 coturnix
    August 30, 2006

    Smack in the middle of North Carolina.

  3. #3 Dendroica
    August 30, 2006

    In Maryland the recorded egg dates are from July 11 to September 21. I imagine that runs a little later in NC. Maybe whatever seeds they prefer are more abundant now than earlier in the summer. I had not realized how late their breeding season runs until I looked it up.

  4. #4 Bob
    August 30, 2006

    Anecdotal observations from our extensive and well populated backyard feeders in NE Wisconsin suggest that the Goldfinches remain in breeding pairs well before/after breeding season. Although they are very common here, they’re one of my favorites because of their vibrant colors. At one point today we had Goldfinches, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Orioles in the back yard simultaneously, it was quite the avian rainbow.

  5. #5 Antiquated Tory
    August 31, 2006

    A pair showed up in the back lawn of the house I grew up with, back in the early 80s. Absolutely beautiful. We also had a pair of American cardinals and some sort of hummnigbird. Cool birds are something I do miss about N America, though magpies are kind of pretty.

  6. #6 b grubbs
    August 31, 2006

    We get them pretty regularly as feeder birds up here in NH. They usually start coming early in the spring and they get yellower as the summer progresses. I would swear that breeding pairs have come to the feeder with a young bird, but it could just be a coincidental visit of a smaller female. Once we also got a grosbeak that looked like a goldfinch afflicted with gigantism and a big neanderthal brow.

  7. #7 Deep Thought
    September 5, 2006

    The American Goldfinch stays paired very late this far South, Bora, and pairs up early in the Spring, too. They tend to frequent the same spots over time, so you can look forward to more of them for years, probably.

  8. #8 roger
    October 2, 2009

    In middle Tenn, we seem to have a summer flock and a winter flock. I keep a finch feeder filled with niger seeds and they swarm to it all suumer.There is a lull in activity in the fall (as of right now) and I assume that they are migrating to a warmer clime for the winter.
    A few weeks later, the activity resumes and continues through out the winter. These, I suppose are a nothern flock that has decided that Tenn winters are not so bad and they can tough it out here. Again, a lull occures in the spring,supposedly marking the northward migration of the winter flock and awaiting the return of the summer birds.

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