Birdwatching: Goldfinches at the Feeder

Lately the birds have been returning to the feeders. These goldfinches (Carduelis tristis) all dressed in their winter coats after molting are partaking of a feast of niger seed, which is excellent for attracting finches.  Like all birds they seem to prefer the seed d’jour. Afterall who doesn’t like the fresh stuff?  Thistle, coreopsis, sunflower, service berry, birch, and alder are all good choices among many possible food sources to attract goldfinches.  They mate in monogamous pairs and live in a flock of about 8 at least in our backyard.  According to Cornell the females will sometimes leave their mate to find another and start a new brood leaving the father to take care of the offspring.  Way to go goldfinch dad!  Does taking responsibilty for the flock make him a Stay at Home Dad too?

12 thoughts on “Birdwatching: Goldfinches at the Feeder

  1. Frances

    Hi Dave, hooray for the male goldfinch and hooray for you too! Both doing their part for the good of the young’uns! It is time to have fun watching the birds in the garden, winter’s flowers.

    Frances

  2. Gail

    Dave,

    I love these little birds, they are colorful and add so much to the winter garden…that is an interesting bit of info about the males raising the offspring. I wish more dads got to experience the joys you have being with your girls!

    gail

  3. perennialgardener

    I didn't realize the goldfinches came around this late in the season. Thanks for the info Dave, I will make sure to stock my feeder with nyger for them! Hooray for the stay at home Dads! 😉 I've been a stay at home Mom the majority of my boys lives & I would have it no other way.

  4. bear

    Hey Bub, My neice found a cocoon bout as big around as a cigar and maybe three inches long. She had to cut it off of her porchlight with scissors. Carefully, it is now in the pupae stage and wriggling around in a jar on top of Granny’s fridge. I was too ignorant to take a picture of it. My best guess is a Luna Moth, any Ideas?

    Bear

  5. Dave

    Hey bear!

    I don’t have a whole lot of knowledge about the cocoons. My best suggestion would be to watch it and see what happens. I found a picture of a luna moth cocoon here: Luna Moth Cocoon. Maybe that will help. It’s a neat thing to watch for the kids!

  6. Thanks For 2 Day

    Hi HG, I love the birds in winter…and I have finches right now. I noticed (looking out the window)that my thistle feeder is low and they were sitting on it waiting! Time to go get some more…
    I am ‘following’ you now at Blogger. I’ll be sure to stop by when I can! Jan

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