Wildlife Wednesday: American goldfinch

During a recent live bird presentation for Nature Day campers at the Chippewa Nature Center, Barb and Joe Rogers of the Wildlife Rescue Association asked children to name their favorite bird.

One of the favorites was the American Goldfinch, a cheerful little bird like a sunspot in summer. If this were a rainforest bird it would be extremely popular for its brilliant colors of black and yellow and cheerful demeanor.

The American goldfinch is widespread in Michigan. Males stand out like a beacon of bright yellow accented with black wings and cap. The brilliant shades act like a lure for predators. The female has calmer colors that help her hide while incubating eggs or warming her nestlings. It is an olive gray yellow and can seemingly disappear into vegetation.

The American goldfinch eats some berries and insects, but its diet consists mostly of seeds; Adults even feed regurgitated seeds to nestlings. They are easily drawn to feeding sites and prefer sunflower seeds and thistle seeds. They also feed on many other seeds including those of goldenrod, aster, burdock, dandelion, chicory and garden flower seed heads such as zinnia, coreopsis, cosmos and lettuce.

Also Read :  Georgia vs. Auburn live stream, watch online, TV channel, prediction, pick, point spread, football game odds

These bright little birds nest in late summer, usually August, when very few other birds are nesting and seeds are plentiful. The nest is a small cup-shaped structure lined with thistle down or other soft materials. The nest is so well made that it can hold water; The adult nest keeper must always be present at the nest during a rainstorm to keep the nestlings dry. The chicks, which look like a fluffy yellow stuffed animal, leave the nest in September and follow the parents to learn the ways of the goldfinch.

Joe Rogers has observed how, when he walks quietly, a family of American goldfinches allow him to approach at close range.

“It’s a pleasure to find a nest for these little birds, but the more I looked at a goldfinch nest, the more I realized I could never match the high quality engineering that went into creating this house,” said Joe .

Also Read :  Unfencing the West: BLM highlights power of virtual fencing

Along with its bright colors, the call of the American goldfinch is one of many people’s favorite bird calls. They have been known to chirp at people walking through woods or at fellow species, sounding like “per-chick-o-ree”.

Flocks of goldfinches, also known as wild canaries, will swoop across fields, orchards and one of their favorite habitats, the bush swamp. These mixed flocks, often containing other small birds, fly in a hilly flight and then perch on favorite food plants.

As winter approaches, many of the colorful birds migrate to warmer climates. However, American goldfinches remain in Michigan throughout the winter and continue to turn up at feeding sites.

However, males molt to turn their fur a drab olive color with dark wings, making them look more like female goldfinches. Goldfinches can easily be mistaken for sparrows in winter.

Also Read :  Seahawks Instant Reaction: Seattle Sports on 39-32 loss to Saints

The goldfinch is considered a symbol of optimism, according to Barb Rogers, and has many other connections to depictions of happiness, enthusiasm, energy, and joy.

“As with many birds, they certainly trigger a moment of joy in our lives,” Barb said. “Thank you to the young CNC Nature Day campers for choosing such a beautiful bird for their ‘Favorite Bird’ status.”

In Michigan, bird watchers may be able to see up to eight different species of finch; The American goldfinch can lead to meeting many other finches in the future.

Wildlife Recovery Association is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to education, rehabilitation and research for the benefit of wildlife and management of a sanctuary to protect rare and vulnerable species. To help these magnificent animals, visit www.wildliferecovery.org or write to Wildlife Recovery Association, 531 S. Coleman Road, Shepherd, MI 48883.

Source link