A small bird, the American Goldfinch changes the color of its plumage twice a year after going through the molting process—the only member of the finch family to go through a complete molt.
Found in most areas of North America except the American Southwest, the American Goldfinch has an amazing, daring courtship ritual as the male circles the female in midflight.
- Food Preferences
Nesting Habits of the American Goldfinch
American Goldfinches put on quite a show during courtship rituals. The male, once its bright plumage appears in July, chases the female in flight, singing and making daring flight maneuvers throughout the ritual. The pair will ultimately fly in circles together.
Two or three pairs of American Goldfinches may group their territories together in a loose colony, perhaps to aid in defense against predators such as snakes, weasels, squirrels, blue jays, hawks and cats.
The nest is built by the female American Goldfinch, up to 30 feet off of the ground. The outer shell of the nest is built of dead tree bark, weeds, vines and grass. The rim is reinforced with flexible fibers found in nature like caterpillar silk and spider web. It is lined with plant down. The nest is said to be so well constructed that it can hold water.
The female American Goldfinch will lay and incubate 4-6 greenish-blue or bluish-white eggs, producing one brood per year. American Goldfinch chicks hatch roughly two weeks after incubation begins and leave the nest after only a week to embark on their new lives on this great big planet!
The American Goldfinch typically lives to seven years of age.
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