American Goldfinch
Adult male American Goldfinch
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Genus: Carduelis/Spinus
Species: tristis

A female American goldfinch perching on an icy branch in chilly winter.

The American golfinch (Carduelis tristis or Spinus tristis) is a bird from the finch family. American goldfinches are in the same group as canaries, thus they are considered to be canaries. American goldfinches are tiny yellowish finches with white or yellow wing markings and tiny, thin bills adapted for extracting seeds from tight spaces. The male American goldfinch undergoes a dramatic transformation each spring, exchanging khaki-brown body plumage for brilliant yellow. These birds are often seen in large flocks and are common backyard birds throughout most of their range.


Weedy open fields and roadsides, particularly with sunflowers or thistles, woodland edges.


Seeds of thistles (most commonly nyjer), dandelions, and other members of the sunflower family, grass seeds, small tree seeds (birch, alder), buds, young leaves, small fruits, insects.


High pitched trills and twitters, plaintive chirps.


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