American Goldfinch: Small, noisy finch. Male has a bright yellow body, black cap, wings, and tail, and white rump and undertail coverts. Wings have flashy white patches and bright yellow shoulder bar. Bill is conical. Undulating flight, alternates several rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Range and Habitat
American Goldfinch: Breeds from southern British Columbia east to Newfoundland and south to California, Utah, southern Colorado, central Oklahoma, Arkansas, and the Carolinas. Spends winters throughout much of U.S.; prefers brushy thickets, weedy grasslands, and nearby trees.
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.
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.
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.
A group of goldfinches has many collective nouns, including a " 007", "charm", "rush", "treasury", and "vein" of goldfinches.
The American Goldfinch's range is fairly large, reaching up to nearly 8 million square kilometers. It can be found in native areas such as Canada, Bahamas, Mexico and the United States. The population of the American Goldfinch is currently believed to be quite extensive, around 24 million individual birds. Due to the large size of this species' global population, the American Goldfinch has an evaluation of Least Concern. This is a downgrade from Lower Risk, which was the rating in 2000. There is not any concern that the population of the American Goldfinch will face immediate decline.