19 August 2014
I know American goldfinches are nesting when I hear them call “beer BEE.”
Loud or soft, the accent is on the second syllable. Birds of North America Online spells it “bay bee”. I hear “beer BEE.”
The call is a warning. Goldfinches use it near their youngsters when there’s a dangerous predator nearby. Last Saturday I heard it repeated loudly for an hour while an immature Coopers hawk perched in my neighbor’s spruce tree. As soon as the hawk left the goldfinches stopped saying it.
Listen for the call and you’ll learn two things:
- There’s a goldfinch nest or young nearby and …
- There’s also a hawk, cat or other danger in the vicinity.
(photo by Chuck Tague)