Mar 29 2008

A Golden Sign of Spring

Published by at 12:44 pm under Songbirds,Weather & Sky

American goldfinches molting into breeding plumage (photo by Marcy Cunkelman)Today’s weather is gorgeous so I did some long-needed yard work. 

While I knelt in the garden American goldfinches visited my thistle feeder.  That’s when I noticed the males are changing into their spring clothes. 

In winter both sexes of goldfinches are dull yellow with no black cap.  Right now they’re midway into breeding plumage as you can see in this picture by Marcy Cunkelman. 

The females (bird on left) don’t change color very much but the males molt their dull feathers and grow bright new yellow ones.  The male at bottom has changed halfway and already has a black cap.  The male at top right has almost finished changing.

By the time the golfinches are completely “gold” again, spring will be here.

One response so far

One Response to “A Golden Sign of Spring”

  1. Kittyon 31 Mar 2008 at 12:00 pm

    I have a question about recent sightings of Seagulls in the area. At first, I saw two maybe three Seagulls by Highland Park Bridge. Seagulls are new to this area. Now, few miles away on the Northside I seen about 8 Seagulls infringing on Pigeon territory of bread crumbs. Does this mean we will have a significate Seagull population soon?

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