American Goldfinches are Back

Male American Goldfish feeding at my feeders.
Male American Goldfish feeding at my feeders.

I went into my garden this morning. It is my last spring day before school starts back tomorrow. I wanted to make a big dent in my new garden plan of creating new flower beds.

It was warm. I wasn’t accustomed to the heat, so I finished the bed, I stopped and observed the activity around the bird feeder.

American Goldfinch and Sweet Sounds

I heard an unusual bird call and in flies a bright yellow bird. A male American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis). I haven’t seen one since last fall. I don’t know where they overwinter. I last saw one at my feeders last October at least.

Happy Yellow Feathers

What I like most about the male American Goldfinches breeding plumage is its’ back. I think it is the artist in me that like the clean crisp play of black and white.

The male lose their bright yellow plumage after the breeding season and turn a drab olive-brown like the females. But, I still didn’t spot any Goldfinches, male or female.

American Goldfinches live the year-around in Pennsylvania, but I think they must retire to the nearby woods like the Robins do. See common common winter birds.

Attracting American Goldfinches to Your Feeders

This male tasted the mixed black oil sunflower, millet, raisins and sunflower chips but liked the nyjer seed best.

These birds are often sold as pets, to keep in cages instead of flying free. A shame. In pet stores I think they are called Wild Canaries.

Attracting Colorful American Goldfinches

Garden Flowers to Attract Goldfinches and Other Birds


When the American Goldfinch flew into the garden, I felt spring had truly arrived.



  1. Lots of Philly’s goldfinches were reportedly seen during February’s Great Backyard Bird Count. Maybe try a thistle sock. They love that out here on Little Crum Creek.

    • Thanks, Scott

      I keep my nyjer feeder out all winter and still no Goldfinches. The Goldfinch in the photos ate mostly from the njyer feeder. I just think they must winter in nearby woods.

      I did the Backyard Bird Count and no Goldfinches.

  2. ah, they winter at my house. We usually have 15-30 at my feeder in the winter with a few pine siskins mixed in. We live in TN.

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