Ed Golson Outdoor Education


Scientific Name: Carduelis tristis

Description:  Goldfinches are about 5 inches in length, have short conical bills , and forked tails.  Male goldfinches have a black cap and the rest is mostly a yellow color with some black and white stripes on the wings.  Interestingly enough, these birds will lose their black cap in the winter and actually become a duller color yellow.  Females have no black cap and have almost brown bodies with black and white stripes on the wings. 

Habitat:  These birds can be found in weedy areas, garden areas and even in orchards.  They can be found throughout most of the United States.

Feeding:  The main diet of these birds is seeds and plants.  Most often these seeds are pulled right off the plant itself.  These birds are able to do this because of their long legs and claws allowing them to easily perch on branches.  Since many seeds are found in mid to late summer, this is the time when these birds nest.  Nesting so late in the year, however, only allows for one brood per year.

Click to hear the goldfinch's call.



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