The American goldfinch is a popular visitor to birdfeeders throughout its range, which includes the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.
We usually think of birds nesting in the spring, but goldfinches don't begin to nest until July and its not unusual to find active nests even as late as early September!
Females usually lay five eggs and spend nearly 95% of their time on the nest once incubation begins, rarely leaving to feed or rest. She can spend so much of the time on the nest because the male brings her food.
American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
Key ID Features: Sparrow-sized. Males gold with black wings and forehead. Both sexes are yellow/olive during the winter.
Present in Park: Year round resident.
Habitat: Weedy fields, open forest, wooded neighborhoods. Nests are tightly woven plants and spider/caterpillar silk lodged in a tree branch fork.
Did You Know?
At Lake Itasca, the elevation of the Mississippi River is 1,475 feet above sea level. It drops to sea level at the Gulf of Mexico. More than half of that drop occurs within the state of Minnesota.