There are dozens of adjectives to describe the American goldfinch and his British counterpart.
Lively. Cheerful. Perky. Energetic. Animated. Athletic. Bouncy. Take your pick or add more. The goldfinch is wonderful to watch, either in the wild or as a back yard resident.
The goldfinch was originally described in 1758 as a small bird from four to six inches long with a 7.5 to 8.7 inch wingspan.
The beak is small, cone-shaped and a pinkish color. The design of the beak makes it perfect for extracting seeds from flower heads, such as sunflowers.
The American goldfinches are songbirds that go through two molts per year, which is very unusual. The pink beak mentioned above turns bright orange during the molting.
Goldfinches are rather drab in the winter, a dull green/brown with little to no colorful ornamentation. That shifts dramatically in the spring, however, when the male must begin concentrating on attracting a lady. The “men” turn into quick-change artists, donning bright yellow feathers, black and white wings and a black cap. That, combined with its melodious song, is definitely enough to turn the girls’ heads. [Read more…]