American goldfinches’ beaks are made especially for seed eating, but during breeding season they dine almost entirely on wild thistle seeds.
These vibrant yellow and black birds are just a bit bigger than chickadees and come to your feeders in flocks. The males are bright yellow with black and white wings while the females are a duller yellow/beige color with dark gray wings.
These birds will primarily eat thistle seed and black oil sunflower seeds, but they also enjoy millet if it is available.
American goldfinches live in woodland borders near fields and alder groves where they have access to seed and dense cover for protection from predators. When other birds are busy building nests and raising young in the spring, you will notice goldfinches still visiting feeders in large groups. These birds wait until the thistle plants are about to seed so that the food is plentiful for them to feed their young. This is one finch species that will readily take to a birdbath for drinking and bathing. In the winter, both males and females lose their brightness and revert to a very dull yellow, leading most people to think they must be a different species altogether.