Wednesday, November 14, 2018

American Goldfinch

So I finally capitulated and seriously read the directions that came with my new camera. This image of an American Goldfinch is the first post-reading result. I still have a way to go, and I look forward to next year’s dragonfly season with a mixture of excitement and apprehension.

I have previously posted about why American Goldfinches are late-season breeders. They apparently wait until June or July, when thistles flower and go to seed. These birds are almost exclusively granivorous. Unlike most other birds, they eat and feed their young almost no insects. One curious result of this diet is that Brown-headed Cowbird nestlings do not survive in goldfinch nests. Without insect protein, cowbird nestlings’ growth is retarded, and almost all die before they fledge (McGraw and Middleton 2017).

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