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American Goldfinch (Male)

American Goldfinch (Male)
Photo Information
Copyright: Ron Warner (tuslaw) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-31
Categories: Birds
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-08-31 18:59
Viewed: 3340
Points: 15
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I've been wanting to capture a male Gold Finch since early spring, I posted one early in the year, but it didn't have it's full summer plumage at that time.

Rosie left Friday for Phoenix Arizona to see my new grandaughter (Isabella) who was born August 10th. so I've had the house all to myself for the last two days. I decided today would be the day I would just sit out back and wait for a decent shot. I was suppose to be watering the flowers while she was gone, but I figured this was way more important.

American Goldfinch (Carduelis Tristis)
The American Goldfinch is an abundant and widely distributed species in temperate North America, common in summer in weedy fields, river flood plains, early second growth forest, and orchards and suburban gardens—habitats where they find their major foods and suitable nesting sites. As the breeding season wanes, flocks form as the birds enter molt and prepare to move to winter habitats. Many northern populations migrate, with the occurrence and extent of migration varying with sex, age, and latitude. Wintering flocks are nomadic, their movements closely tied to food supply. During the winter months the species is common at bird feeders.

The American Goldfinch is both sexually and seasonally dimorphic. The males in their bright yellow summer plumage are a familiar sight, but the less brightly colored females are often overlooked. Both sexes are frequently misidentified in their muted winter plumages. The difference between winter and summer plumages is the most striking of any of the cardueline finches and results from a spring (Prealternate) body molt, unique among carduelines.

This goldfinch is also unusual because it is one of the latest breeders of all temperate zone passerines. In the East, it normally waits to nest until late June or early July.

Although the cause of this is not well understood, there is a close relationship between the flowering of thistles, an important food plant, and the start of nest building. In addition, the physiological effects of spring molt may prohibit early nesting.

This goldfinch’s nesting season is a short one. In the East, the last eggs are laid in mid-Aug. As a result, most pairs have time to produce only one brood in a season, although experienced breeders frequently produce two broods if eggs are laid early and the first brood is successful. To permit such second nestings, a female abandons the first brood to her mate, and then leaves to find another mate.

The American Goldfinch is almost exclusively granivorous. It consumes little insect matter, even when feeding nestlings, suggesting that this species is well adapted to obtaining its protein requirements from a seed diet. This diet may explain why the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) fails to survive in goldfinch nests. Even though cowbirds hatch successfully, their growth is retarded and almost all die before they can leave the nest.

Information from: The Birds of North America (Online)


jaycee, jrobertop, tiobibi, ubc64, eqshannon, Jamesp, robindb, jpdenk, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To robindb: Goldfinchtuslaw 1 09-01 19:11
To jrobertop: Goldfinchtuslaw 2 09-01 05:09
To eqshannon: Goldfinchtuslaw 1 08-31 21:53
To ubc64: Goldfinchtuslaw 1 08-31 20:21
To jaycee: Goldfinchtuslaw 1 08-31 19:50
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-08-31 19:04]
  • [+]

Hi Ron,

First, congratulations on your new granddaughter. Hope mother and baby are doing well. My kids were going to name their first Isabella but chose Peter instead :-) A lovely Goldfinch - believe it or not, a bird I have never seen. We only have Lesser Goldfinches here. Nice pose, colors and details. Now I know why it was cool here today - Rosie brought the weather with her. Thank you Rosie! First day all summer without using the a/c.


  • Good 
  • ubc64 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 76 W: 21 N: 208] (789)
  • [2008-08-31 20:14]
  • [+]

Hi Ron,

You managed to get a shot of a goldfinch! The shot is a little dark, but your detail compensates. Good shot of the feet too. Very nice addition to the gallery.


I did have to double take on it...I knew it had to be a Canon that caught this one so natural. The yellows are so much brighter than I remember...things change from spring to fall in life...what a beauty you got Ron. A super capture! Little boy kneels at the foot of his bed..(Christopher Robin-Melanie 1968 or so)

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-08-31 23:45]

Hi Ron

Great pose with excellent detail and colours. Well seen and captured - eventually ;)


Hello Ron.
Great capture! Wonderful bird with fantastic coloration!
Excellent sharpness and interesting POV.
Clean and pleasant composition.
José Roberto

Hi Ron,

Congrats on the granddaughter. We are also waiting for a grandchild due in Feb. Nice detail and colour with good use of the back and side lighting.


Hello Ron

The back-light effect with the lateral light
of this photo are very beautiful, with fine POV
obtaining the wonderful eye-contact of this American Goldfinch,
great focus, sharpness, and details, TFS


Hello Mr.Ron,
Beautiful bird this Goldfinch.Nice shape with attractive colour.Nice BG with attractive pose and composition.Like it.
Thanks for sharing,
Regards and have a nice time,

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