Friday, October 2, 2009

Juvenile American Goldfinches

'Our' goldfinch family is out there chowing down on thistle seeds from the feeder right now. Maybe this was dad, from early in the summer.

I've filled the thistle feeder numerous times over the last couple of months, as the parents, and then the youngsters were loading up. They were eating a LOT of niger thistle seed, in addition to foraging for Rudbeckia, Echinacea, and other seeds in the front meadow.

There were three of them getting water from the smallest birdbath right outside my study window this morning. The juveniles are comical-looking with the scruffy mottled feathers growing out.

I didn't manage to get a photo, but in looking for one to include or link to, found this nice post about a papa goldfinch and a fledgling foraging in a meadow, with fabulous photos.

American goldfinches are among the last birds to breed in our warm season, being almost totally seed-eaters; late nesting coincides with abundant composite and grass seed production in late summer and fall. This is an excellent account about American Goldfinches from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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