And we’re back! Howdy everyone, hope your day is treating you well. My day has been packed solid – 15 mile run in the morning, worked on painting the new coffin prop for the haunted trail, spent a couple of hours in the woods getting the trail ready and then went back and put another coat of paint on the coffin. Now I’m officially maxed out and sitting here catching the season of Halloween Wars. Since I am unable to actually just sit and watch TV, figure it would be an excellent time to get one of these postie thingies out. So, here we go with our latest featured feathered friend.
Last post I focused on one of my most hated birds, the Asshat Cowbird. Trust me, it truly is a despicable bird. I like to keep my karma balanced, so today I’ve chosen a bird that I happen to have great fondness for. This little yellow beauty is an American Goldfinch. If you happen to be from the contiguous States, then you are probably already familiar with this Finch as they are abundant throughout.
Hit the jump to read a bit more about our ray of sunshine.
Being a resident of the broke state of Illinois, we have the privilege of seeing these Goldfinches year round. Those to the north can catch them in their breeding season and those south can catch them in their non-breeding state. As this male is all decked out in its bright yellow plumage, clearly this series was taken during the breeding months.
Specifically, it was taken the same day as the Cowbird in the previous post – May 2018. More shots just after the downpour giving a nice richness to the images. When it came to the color palette, these Finches were at the head of the line. The vibrant yellows are paired nicely with the deep black on the cap and wings with fine white barring and bigger splashes on the tail to give it that extra pop in the trees. A very common trait when it comes to the birding world, the females are significantly duller choosing more of a olive wash on top. In solidarity, the male will drop the fluorescent lights and put on their brown coats. Best way to distinguish the in the off-breeding months is to spot those two bars on the wing.
This second Goldfinch was showing a bit of wear on the feathers. They will fade out to white as the feathers weather. In this particular specimen, the water on the worn feathers caused them to take on more of a grey tinge. Still pretty cute don’t ya’ think!?!
How about we get to some interesting facts before I run out of shots. So this bird is so well liked, it was chosen as the state bird for not one, not two but three different states, New Jersey, Iowa and Washington. Surprised me a bit with the Hawkeye state as …well… kind of assumed it would be a Hawk. Now there is a large swath of birds that live on seeds throughout the year – many of them the smaller variety like the Goldfinch. What you do not have a lot of are seed only birds. The bugs and Mosquitoes are safe around the Goldie as they are strictly vegetarian. There is one good thing about their seed addiction and one not so good (at least for me). On the favorable side, Cornell’s website noted that the seed only diet doesn’t fare well for the survival of young Cowbirds left by their brood parasite mothers. I feel a little bad for the innocent Cowbird offspring, but the danger they pose to real siblings and the extra strain on the foster parents is an unwelcome hardship.
Now the personal downside. These Goldfinches are abundant in our area and with their focus on seeds, they put some serious damage in my feeder supplies. There will be times when my sunflower feeders and the thistle hangers are so full it looks like a Lite-Brite (hmmm, I may have just dated myself there, does anyone know what that is anymore?) At one point each peg had a Goldfinch on it – a bit slow on the shutter button cost me the shot I wanted – will have to make do with this one.
Looks like I am out of shots for this post. I did want to add one more in as it gives a good visual of the white splashes on the tail – one along the notch at the bottom of the tail and then higher up as it leads into the body. Wanted to make sure you were able to experience all this bird has to offer – and Ron is a stickler for angles.
Hope you enjoyed a quick look at our local splash of flying sunshine.