Mar 29 2008
Today’s weather is gorgeous so I did some long-needed yard work.
While I knelt in the garden American goldfinches visited my thistle feeder. That’s when I noticed the males are changing into their spring clothes.
In winter both sexes of goldfinches are dull yellow with no black cap. Right now they’re midway into breeding plumage as you can see in this picture by Marcy Cunkelman.
The females (bird on left) don’t change color very much but the males molt their dull feathers and grow bright new yellow ones. The male at bottom has changed halfway and already has a black cap. The male at top right has almost finished changing.
By the time the golfinches are completely “gold” again, spring will be here.