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Meet Mrs. Goldfinch July 21, 2010

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Birds, Nature.
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Female Goldfinch

Most people would recognize a male American Goldfinch in his black and gold summer clothes. The bird in the picture above is a female Goldfinch. Her yellow isn’t as bright and her dark wings aren’t as black. She never wears a cap.

Like other finches, Goldfinches are seed eaters. True children of the prairie, Goldfinches are particularly fond of sunflower and thistle seeds. They’re also partial to milkweed. This picture was taken in Wapello’s South-End Park where all of their favorite foods are found in abundance.

Another pair of finches lives at the end of my block. On sunny days the male likes to fly in big loops around the neighborhood. His wavy, up and down flight looks to me like he’s riding an invisible roller coaster.

As he flies he calls per-chick-a-ree using the tones and rhythm you would use to say “potato chip.” You can hear this distinctive flight call for yourself at the USGS bird identification site.

Goldfinches are year round residents of Iowa. Most people don’t see them in winter because they change colors. They lose the yellow feathers leaving them looking much like a sparrow. Their call can help you recognize them.

You can find out more about American Goldfinches at All About Birds.

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1. Finch Trap - July 25, 2010

[…] Meet Mrs. Goldfinch « Wapello Warbler's Louisa County […]


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