Flying Rays of Sunshine

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.

American Goldfinch found on Brimfield lot in May 2018

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.

American Goldfinch found on Brimfield lot in May 2018

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.

American Goldfinch found on Brimfield lot in May 2018

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.

American Goldfinch found on Brimfield lot in May 2018

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!?!

American Goldfinch found on Brimfield lot in May 2018

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.

American Goldfinch found on Brimfield lot in May 2018

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.

American Goldfinch found on Brimfield lot in May 2018

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.

American Goldfinch found on Brimfield lot in May 2018

Hope you enjoyed a quick look at our local splash of flying sunshine.

8 thoughts on “Flying Rays of Sunshine”

    1. I did a quick lookup on the Eurasion variety and those are definitely just a cute. Not as overall bright, but that red face is really cool. I’m will to swap a few specimens.. but I should probably wait a bit until we get our mail system figured out or they’ll probably get lost before the box (with holes of course) makes it over there hehehe. Thanks for dropping in B! Hope all is still going well with the new homestead.

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  1. I still have an Etch-a-Sketch but not sure if it is still functional. Somewhere in my house is my old Erector set – a constant reason for getting Tetanus shots as a kid – heard they went to plastic versions now which can’t be anywhere near as fun as rusty metal pieces ha – now that brings back memories as I learned a lot about the linkages used to this day in my Halloween props thanks to that toy. Assuming you also had Lincoln Logs now that you have lumped yourself into my age group heheh,

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  2. OK- only could glance at this one as I have a 5am kayak appointment with a lake in the morning! But, what my question is… why paint a coffin? Seriously? Even for Halloween, are they only suppose to be pine boxes that decompose and expose a rotten body? A little paint isn’t going to stop that process. Just my last thoughts as I drift off to sleep hopefully to wake for that appointment.😂

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    1. Okay, my immediate question is “what the hell is worth getting up at 5am that isn’t a race!?!” On your question, I actually prefer concrete tombstones and coffins. The haunter’s secrete is they start out as pink home insulation foam (http://lifeintrigued.com/blog/new-stones-for-the-haunted-graveyard/). Layers and layers of Drylock paint and eventually you get a semi-realistic Halloween prop that is much easier to store than the real thing. Ironically, I was just reading a technique to make the foam look like wood – maybe next year I’ll add some wood props ha. Happy dreams and get ready to slam some early morning coffee.

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      1. Hummm. 5am for a race? Now that is just plain crazy! Fishing – yes!, seeing the sunrise – yes! Catching a plane for one of my adventures stateside – yes! A race on two feet a big fat NO from me! It’s it great that everyone is different? I can understand the whole material composition for ease of movement and storage. At least you have someplace to put all those props. Thanks for the reply.😊

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