• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco


Lesser Goldfinch

(Carduelis psaltria)
Lesser Goldfinch
Male (front) and female Lesser Goldfinches eat willowherb seeds in Thompson Reach restoration area.
Will Elder, NPS

Natural History: The Lesser Goldfinch eats seeds and insects. It takes cover in trees and shrubs. This bird likes to be near water.

General Distribution: In the Presidio, this species can be found in areas of coastal and dune scrub; oak, eucalyptus, and willow forests; lawns and around ornamentals.

Frequency: This species is common in the spring and summer, uncommon in the fall and winter. It nests in the Presidio.

Identifying Characteristics: The males of this bird are small in size with yellow chest and underside and black wings, back, tail, and top of head. The females are a dull yellow-olive color with black wings and wingbars; they differ from the American Goldfinch female in having white undertail coverts.

Presidio Birds main page

Did You Know?

Franciscan monk

In 1776, Father Pedro Font wrote, "The port of San Francisco...is a marvel of nature, and might well be called a harbor of harbors...And I think if it could be well settled like Europe there would not be anything more beautiful in all the world."