No matter where you live in North America, the American Goldfinch is sure to be a frequent visitor to your neighborhood – and with the right food, they’ll flock to your feeder nearly year-found.

The American Goldfinch is unique in that it molts twice a year – appearing as a pale yellow-green during the winter months. But as spring approaches, its golden spring jacket, black cap and tails is a sure sign that warmer months are on the way.

The goldfinch is one of those birds that has benefited greatly from human interaction – flourishing equally in overgrown fields, tall grasses and the manicured lawns and open spaces of the suburbs. Their acrobatic flight, cheerful call and flashy attire make them a backyard favorite. In fact, three states name the American Goldfinch as their state bird: New Jersey, Iowa and Washington.

Strictly vegetarian (although they may provide insects to their young as a source of protein) their short, conical beak of the goldfinch makes it perfect for grabbing and crushing small seeds and kernels, like sunflower, golden millet and Nyjer seed.

Goldfinch Feeding Tips:

  • Small seeds and kernels, especially nyjer seed
  • Use finch feeders that have smaller holes than traditional feeders. Thistle (Nyjer) socks are also popular. Finches will peck through small openings and pull seeds through the fabric. These two types of feeders will dissuade larger birds giving the smaller finches more access to the food.
  • Keep the ground beneath the feeder open and manicured, so they can eat the small seeds that other birds drop

Find out more about the American Goldfinch here.