Goldfinch Diet, Habitat and Identification
Goldfinches are very popular backyard birds. Found all across North America,
Goldfinches are readily identified by their bright yellow color and distinctive
flight, swooping up and down, as they travel across a field or yard.
In some areas, goldfinch stay the whole year. In other areas, they
migrate to more southerly climates for the winter months. Often, you will
find Goldfinches at your backyard bird feeder anytime of year. Their favorites
seeds are Thistle, Niger (in winter) and Sunflowers
Native Americans viewed the goldfinch as a sign of happiness and good fortune.
They also considered them as oracles.
Other Names: Eastern Goldfinch, American Goldfinch
State Bird: Goldfinch are the state bird of
Iowa, New Jersey, and Washington
Goldfinch Bird Identification:
Goldfinches are small birds, just 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches tall, weighing .4
to .7 ounce. Their wingspan is 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 inches across.
Goldfinch are easy to spot, with their bright yellow feathers, and a shiny
black forehead. Their wings are black and white bars. They have an orange,
conical bill, and pointed, notched tail feathers. Goldfinch are also
easy to spot in flight, their yellow color drawing our eye's attention to
their swooping flight.
Goldfinch molt their feathers both spring and fall, taking on brighter colors
for the summer, and more drab colors in the winter.
Male Goldfinch - In the summer, they have bright yellow feathers, with have
a bright orange belly, black head and one white bar on their black wings.
In the winter, they have much duller feathers. The male is pictured below.
The female has a much duller drab color, with a lot of green in her feathers.
The adult female lays one brood a year, of 4 to 6 bluish white eggs. The
eggs are about 1/2 inch oval shape. The incubation period is 12-14 days.
Babies are fed re-gurgitated seeds and insects.
Goldfinch Bird Diet:
Goldfinch diet consists largely of seeds. They will occasionally consume
See Bird Seed Feeding Chart.
Flower seeds on Goldfinches diet includes: Asters, Bee Balm, Cosmos, Dandelion,
Sunflower, Thistle, Zinnia. They like ragweed, too!
Goldfinch Bird Habitat:
The Eastern Goldfinch can be found all over North America. They are at home
in weedy fields, orchards, backyards, gardens, floodplains, and along roadsides.
This includes just abut anywhere that thistle and other flower seeds on their
diet are plentiful.
You will find Goldfinch singly, in pairs, or in large groups. They group
together when feeding and migrating. When nesting, they can be found in loose