Monday, February 16, 2009

Showing His True Colors

In an effort to attract a mate, the usually drab olive colored American goldfinch grows a bright yellow coat for the summer. They're monogamous birds and raise one brood per year. Found from coast to coast in the United States, and being short distance migrants, the ones that find their way to either of our seaside lagoons tend to stay put all year. Our temperate climate provides them with an endless food source.

These little fellows are granivores, with beaks that are adapted to eating seed heads. They'll occasionally settle for bugs, maple sap, tree buds or berries, but they thrive on weed seeds. You can easily attract goldfinches to your garden by planting zinnias, globe thistles, cosmos, or bee balm. The picture above shows a male goldfinch feasting on dandelion seeds.

Thanks to California wildlife photographer Chris Mayne for sharing his photograph.

1 comment:

High Desert Diva said...

Pretty little guy.

I wonder if I can get bee balm to grow here? I adore it.