The American Goldfinch is a member of the finch family and is usually between 3" and 5" long. It is a small bird with a wingspan of between 7" and 9" and weighs between 10 and 20 grams. It has a conical, pointed pink bill which may changes to orange during the spring and the body color may range from bright yellow to a dull brown. The dark brown wings have white bars and the short tail is white underneath.
The American Goldfinch is a social bird that is usually seen in small flocks, flying with a bouncy motion and often calling with trills and chirps. It builds good nests in trees in open spaces and usually prefers roadside or orchard trees close to areas with dandelions, thistles and wild flowers. The nests are very well made from plant material, tightly woven and down from thistles or milkweed used as a lining.
Birdhouses Suitable for American Goldfinches
These small birds need only a small birdhouse. Dimensions of 12" x 6" x 8" would be adequate. A 1 1/2" entrance hole is large enough and should be covered with a metal plate to prevent predators from enlarging it.
Birdfeeders Suitable for American Goldfinches
American Goldfinches, like other members of the finch family are mainly seed eaters and they will eat seeds from a wide variety of plants including ragweed, sunflowers, alder etc. Their preferred food however are Nyjer seeds which come from Africa and placing these in a suitable finch feeder will surely attract these lovely birds to your garden.
The House Finch
This small songbird is found many parts of the US and Canada although it is a native of Mexico and the western USA. It is a social bird and usually seen in flocks. The House Finch is a small, slender bird at between 5” and 5 3/4” long with a short bill and square tipped tail. The female is brown but the male is more colorful with red chest, rump and crown. The red coloring is attractive to the females who have been shown to prefer the brighter colored males!
House Finches nest in many different locations including holes in walls, window ledges, planters and evergreen trees. The nest is shallow, made from twigs, grass and leaves and lined with fine fibers and feathers. Three to six eggs are laid and incubated for two weeks with the nestlings being fed by both the parents. A second batch of eggs are laid after the nestlings leave the nest around fifteen days later. Three or more broods may be raised each summer.
Birdhouses Suitable for the House Finch
A birdhouse of dimensions 8” x 5 1/2” x 5 1/2” is suitable with a two inch entrance hole which is located about 6” above the floor. The birdhouse should be preferably be placed on a post about ten feet above the ground.
Birdfeeders Suitable for the House Finch
House finches eat grains, fruit, seeds and buds including thistle, sunflower and canary seeds. Favorite fruits are mulberries, papaya and cherries and they will also eat parts of flowers. They search the ground for food and will be attracted to platform type feeders with breadcrumbs, suet, Place the feeder close to high perches or trees to give the House Finch added security. They also need to drink often so provide a source of fresh water.
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