About The American Goldfinch
The American Goldfinch is a very small North American bird of the finch family. It is typically 11-13 cm (3-5 in) long while its wingspan is 19-22 cm (7-9 in). Weighing in at 11 – 20 g, the American Goldfinch is a very small bird with a pointed and conical bill which is usually pink. Its body color ranges from a bright yellow to a dull brown. The wings are dark brown, almost black, with white wingbars while the tail is short and notched and is white underneath. However, the colors of the feathers vary depending on the sex of the bird as well as the season of the year. The beak color changes as well into bright orange during the spring.
The American Goldfinch usually flies together with other birds of the same species in small flocks. While flying, the American Goldfinch usually calls out. Its call is chirpy and full of trills. Its flight is characteristically bouncy.
The American Goldfinch Nesting Preferences
The American Goldfinch is a sociable bird that prefers to nest in trees located in open spaces. Orchard and roadside trees are among the preferred locations of the American Goldfinch. These trees are usually found on the outskirts of fields overgrown with thistle, dandelions, and wild field plants. The American Goldfinch is well-known for being a very good nest builder.
Its ideal location for a nest is a forked branch which is about 10 feet from the ground. The nest of the Goldfinch is one of the most well-built bird nests. The cup-shaped nest is made of woven plant material and then thistle or milkweed down is used to line the nest to insulate it. As a result, the nest is very strong waterproof.
Building a Birdhouse For The American Goldfinch
Due to its small size, a birdhouse for the American Goldfinch does not require oversized dimensions. A suitable birdhouse would be 12-1/2high x 6wide x 8-1/2deep. A hole about 1 ½” should be protected with a slate predator guard.
The American Goldfinch Mating Habits
The American Goldfinch starts mating in early spring. Most of the time, there will be several males trying to catch the attention of a single female. The actual mating doesn’t really happen till late in the summer though.
The American Goldfinch Feeding Preferences
The American Goldfinch is basically a seed-eating bird. Its diet is very varied however, and it can consume anything from thistle to dandelion, ragweed, mullein, sunflower, and alder. When not breeding, it is very easy to attract the American Goldfinch to feeders in your garden. Just make sure to have a hefty supply of Nyjer, a type of seed imported from Africa and Asia. The Goldfinch has a legendary appetite for this seed.
Interesting American Goldfinch Facts
- The American Goldfinch will go on a feeding frenzy right before a storm.
- This bird is also known as North America’s “wild canaries” as they have very beautiful calls.
- The male Goldfinch feeds the female as if it were a baby bird when the female is warming the eggs.