Sunday, January 31, 2021

American Goldfinch

It seems that I never run out of birds to chase. 28 January 2021 found me searching an Olympia neighborhood for Lesser Goldfinches. For the past two years, these goldfinches have been reported in eBird from Olympia. They are residents of the American southwest, north to Oregon and south through South America. The species has been spreading north. The most recent report was from just a few days ago—a flock of over a dozen at a local feeder. I parked and a nearby tree filled with Pine Siskins and goldfinches. (Birding with binoculars and camera can be somewhat dicey in some neighborhoods.) The bad news is that the goldfinches were clearly American Goldfinches. Lessers have dark caps and show more yellow below in the winter. The bird in the first photo is clearly a male in winter plumage—note the black wings. (Above and to the right is one of the Pine Siskins.) The bird in the other photo is a winter female, with her tan wing bar. So I did not see Lesser Goldfinches, although photos in eBird assure me the Lessers are in the area. The good news? These photos of American Goldfinches are my first from Washington.

1 comment:

  1. I've never seen American goldfinches in Olympia in January, and would not have guessed it possible. I did photograph lesser goldfinches in my Olympia yard in May 2018, but it is the only time I have seen them here.