Thursday, August 15, 2013

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch - Carduelis tristis 

Goldfinches time their nesting such that the chicks hatch about the same time as the thistle flower turns to seed. Recently we enjoyed a mating display performed over the tree line of the garden.

This female goldfinch looks as if she is "willing" the thistle bud to suddenly open and instantly turn to seed.

Thistles have been flowering for weeks and there are lot of seeds. The goldfinch are now less common at the feeders because their natural food choice is abundant and closer to their nests.


The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Alberta. Federation of Alberta Naturalists. 2007.

Baicich PJ, Harrison CJO. Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds. Princeton UP. 2005.

Fisher C, Acorn J. Birds of Alberta. Lone Pine Publishing. Edmonton. 1998.

Sibley David A. The Sibley Guide to Birds. Alfred A Knopf, Inc. New York. 2000.

Sibley David A. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior. Alfred A Knopf, Inc. New York. 2001.

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