American Goldfinch


Size: 5”

Plumage / Description: Male breeding plumage is a brilliant lemon-yellow on throat, breast, belly and back with a black crown and black wings.  Male non-breeding plumage is an overall tannish back, breast, and belly, wings dark with a prominent wing bar.  Female breeding plumage is a pale yellow color overall, with wing bars on darker colored wings.  Female non-breeding plumage is a brownish/grayish color overall with two prominent wing bars.

Habitat: Weedy and grassy fields, in residential areas at bird feeders.

Time of year:  A fall, winter, and spring visitor to the Central Highlands area of Arizona.  Non-breeder.

Relative Abundance:  Fairly common in appropriate season

Behavior:  A seed eater.  Frequently found in mixed flocks with Lesser
Goldfinches and Pine Siskins at seed feeders.

Diet:  Insects in summer months, seeds year-round.  At feeders prefers a diet of black-oil sunflower seeds, particularly out of the shell, and nyjer/thistle seed.

Similar species: Lesser Goldfinches and Pine Siskins which are also frequent visitors to backyard feeding stations.

Best sites: Weedy, brushy fields, open areas, in residential neighborhoods