Baby Goldfinches

 

Baby birds now?  Amazingly, yes.   While many other birds are well on their way south for the winter, American Goldfinches are still dutifully raising their babies.

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“Feed me, feed me”

One of the sounds of the fall garden here at my house is the insistent “feed me, feed me” from the baby goldfinches. Listen to the calls here.  Maybe you have heard this sound around your house.

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You’re not feeding me fast enough!

Why do Goldfinches wait so long to have their families?  The food and nesting material they like the best are available later in the year.

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Seed eater

By late August and September, many flowers have gone to seed.   American Goldfinches are almost exclusively seed eaters, which is actually quite unique. Most birds in our area feed their young a diet full of insects.   The only time a Goldfinch will eat a bug is by mistake.

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Thistle down

The soft down of thistles and milkweed is used by Goldfinches for nesting material, and they eat the seeds as well.

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Collecting materials for the nest

If you take a look in fields or roadsides, you may see Goldfinches perched on top of thistles, pulling the down out for their nests.

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September garden

You can attract American Goldfinches to your garden by planting flowers like purple coneflowers and black eyed susans, then letting them go to seed in the late summer.

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mmmm…breakfast!

You have to be willing to let a certain amount of neatness and perfection go, and let your garden mature and go a bit wild in the late summer, but it is totally worth it.

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Wildlife Garden

Before you know it, you’ll have goldfinches stopping by.

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Bright yellow male

Once the goldfinches find you, they will keep coming back.

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Hi

And they might even bring their babies!

Thanks for visiting my blog!   Next time, I will be writing more about the rewards of gardening for wildlife.

 

For more on American Goldfinches, or any other bird you may be interested in, take a look at Cornell University’s excellent All About Birds website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Comments:

  1. Sweet little birds, great information and photos. Thank you, Leslie.

  2. This was a great post Leslie! I have many goldfinches in my yard, too, probably because our yard borders on a field, I have a busy finch feeder, and my flower-beds go to seed.

  3. More babies!! These little birds are adorable and have so much food at your house to choose from. Great photos!

  4. beautiful photography, l still have problems trying to get my macro shot working like the ones you showed us on our Brighton Photo Club visit, but not giving up on trying. You have a bird heaven in your back yard. Thanks for showing all your photos, Ron

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