Sunday, March 09, 2008

"a charm of goldfinches"

American Goldfinch
The American Goldfinch changes from winter plumage to breeding plumage by a complete molt of its body feathers. It is the only member of its family to have this second molt in the spring; all the other species have just one molt each year in the fall.
They are one of the latest nesting birds, starting in late June or early July, when most other songbirds are finishing with breeding. Their late timing may be related to the availability of suitable nesting materials and seeds for feeding young.
Brown-headed Cowbirds may lay an egg in a Goldfinch nest, but the hatchling will usually die because the seed-based diet that the parents provide cannot support it.
A group of goldfinches has many collective nouns, including "a 007 of goldfinches", "a charm of goldfinches", "a rush of goldfinches", "a treasury of goldfinches", and a "vein of goldfinches."
Carduelis tristis


Alyssa said...

Hi Dee - Those are some great pictures of the Gold Finches. They are such neat little birds - active and perky all the time. I can't wait for that second molt that you wrote about. See that flash of yellow for the first time in Spring is a real treat! I hope you feel better - that flu was going around a lot. Stay warm!

oldmanlincoln said...

The Gold Finches that stayed here over the winter eat thistle seed every day from the seed sack and from a regular thistle feeder. They are, like your birds, not so colorful as later in the spring. Like you I am also tired of this weather and getting anxious for some warmer temperature.

Thanks for your visit.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Great pictures and great information 'D'.

John Keats wrote:
“Sometimes goldfinches one by one will drop
From low-hung branches; little space they stop;
But sip, and twitter, and their feathers sleek;
Then off at once, as in a wanton freak:
Or perhaps, to show their black and golden wings Pausing upon their yellow flutterings.”

I also know them as a Charm. :O)

DeeMom said...

Alyssa their color in the spring reminds me as they flit about in the spring like rays of infectious sunshine ;)

Abraham I never had much luck with the Thistle feeders, but the sack feeders are for sure a hit.

AH Keats…good one there Tom, thanks

imac said...

Dee, what great photos and info in this post, but then, all your posts are great and interesting.

Kerri said...

WOW! You got some Wonderful shots! Love it that the snow was coming down!