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American Goldfinch

Updated on June 30, 2006

The American goldfinch is the smallest bird that comes to our feeders. Sunflower seeds are too big for them. They like thistle seeds which they eat upside down from a special feeder designed to prevent raids by sparrows and larger birds.

Goldfinches are found throughout the U.S. and southern Canada. The Canadian goldfinches head south in winter. They are found year round in the central United States.

They inhabit weedy fields, woodland edges and open habitats with scattered shrubs. In the winter goldfinches roam in noisy flocks, seeding food in fields, gardens and feeding stations.

Goldfinches are seedeaters in all seasons, consuming a variety of weed, grass and plant seeds and tree buds.

See: "Michigan Bird Watching, A Year-Round Guide" by Bill Thompson III and the staff of Bird Watchers Digest.

American goldfinch feeding

American Goldfinch feeding

American goldfinch--male

American goldfinch--male

American goldfinch-male

Two males and a female American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

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    • Ralph Deeds profile image
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      Ralph Deeds 5 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Tnx.

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      lucy 5 years ago

      hey your article is cool

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      tringo 7 years ago

      I love Goldfinches there so bright!

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      sara 7 years ago

      i have gold fiches in my tree

    • Ralph Deeds profile image
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      Ralph Deeds 8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Thanks for your comment, and good suggestions.

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      jane L. 8 years ago

      Grind up thistle seeds and hulled sunflower seeds in a CLEAN coffee grinder (no caffeine!) add water to make a thin gruel. Feed 0.3 cc at a time, or whatever amount that it doesnt spill out of mouth and bird can swallow easily. Less is Best! Multiple feedings as the baby cries, which is constant, maybe every 10 minutes while you are home! Do your best, they can survive long stretches without food although its not good for them. Check goldfinch sites on the internet for other foods they like, grind it up and go for it. Good Luck!

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      Ralph Deeds 9 years ago

      Sorry! I don't have a suggestion. My hobby is photography and I like to take pictures of birds, but I don't have any particular expertise for caring for them. Thanks for your comment.

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      morgan 9 years ago

      we have found a baby goldfinch with malformed feet, and cannot perch. We are intouch with bird rehibilitators, but they donnot want that baby if it does not live through the next few days with us. we have successfully fed it some thistle, but it wont eat enough food to stay alive. any suggestions??? emails me at snowflake41796@yahoo.com thank you

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      Armchair Birder 11 years ago

      The American Goldfinch is my all time favorite bird. I had an amazing experience raising an orphaned Goldfinch and releasing it very successfully back into the wild. Sort of like "Born Free" of the the bird world experience.