Tuesday, July 01, 2008

American Goldfinches

Male American Goldfinch in his Mating Plumage

One of the prettiest birds inhabiting our yard is the American Goldfinch. This brilliant yellow fellow was enjoying a drink from our front yard birdbath, then flew over to the big pine in the front yard. It was there that I got these pictures of him.

In the summer breeding season, these guys get really bright feathers as part of nature's attraction to the females. A male looking to breed displays the bright yellow, along with the black cap on his head. The female is a little more drab.

Another pose from the American Goldfinch

The above pictures I took today, but to get a look at a female, below is a photo I took a couple of summers ago in Wisconsin. This pair was enjoying a meal, and the female decided to keep her eye on me. You can see the touch of olive in her plumage, but even so, she is showing quite a bit of yellow. Also notice her lack of the male's black head feathers.

Pair of American Goldfinches in Madison, Wisconsin