Thursday, September 26, 2019

Lesser Goldfinch

A pair of Lesser Goldfinches bathed in our Ashland, Oregon, hotel birdbath on 20 September 2019. This photo is not the clearest, but I took it through a window with my cell phone. This western species occurs south into northern South America. Their range is extending northward.

In the United States, males in the eastern part of their range have black backs, whereas western males, like this one, have greenish upperparts. Females do not differ. Almost all Lesser Goldfinches in Latin America are black-backed. These types are currently considered to be subspecies, but have different molt timing and breeding behaviors. Intergrades exist where their ranges overlap in Arizona and New Mexico (Watt and Willoughby 2014).

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