According to McGraw and Middleton (2009), goldfinches' "winter and breeding ranges overlap, with populations generally shifting southward in winter." They continue, "Early winter distribution apparently correlated with temperature..." During this warm winter, the recapture on 30 January 2012 of a goldfinch we banded on 21 November 2011 perhaps confirms the second statement.
I have had two long-range goldfinch recoveries. In Aberdeen, South Dakota, I retrapped a goldfinch that had been banded in Colorado. A Goldfinch we banded in Dundas was recovered in west-central Saskatchewan, an interesting record because it was recovered the summer after it's April banding.
I do not know if some of our wintering goldfinches are the same individuals that breed here. Definitely some are here during more than one winter. Looking at this American Goldfinch, caught on 27 January 2012, you know that the sex is male--the wing is jet black--and that the age is over two calendar years--note the bright yellow wing patch. We know more data than these--I banded this individual on 1 January 2009! We banded and retrapped this goldfinch at our Dundas banding site.