Spring has come early here to the Northern end of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I have to say there has not been enough snow this year for me. One of the earliest signs of Spring are our happy, vocal Spring Peepers. However, they are still quiet. Perhaps they know we still have to get through March.
Just the same, a careful look at bird feeders reveal a small sign of Spring. The tiny, diminutive male American Goldfinch is beginning to put on his summer courting outfit. Goldfinches are year-round residents here in Virginia. Males loose their bright plumage for winter. This makes it difficult to tell males from females. Not to worry. Spring brings on the summer wear and males are very easy to spot then.
American Goldfinches, Carduelis tristis, are often called Wild Canaries. They are a very loved tiny bird that twitters upon taking flight. They fly an undulated flight pattern.
They come year-round to bird feeders. They love Nyger thistle (which is pricey!), but they also enjoy Sunflower seeds (not as pricey, and brings in more birds). I have them all year at my sunflower seed feeders.
An interesting fact: They belong to the finch family, and are the only finches to change their ‘coats’ season to season!
Hope you enjoy these photos I have taken of ‘our’ finches at the feeders. Happy birding!