Goldfinch (male and female)

3.5" x 5.5" (9 x 14 cm)
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Length 5 1/2 inches This attractive little Finch, which is often called Thistle Bird, Lettuce Bird and Wild Canary, is loved wherever known. It is always a welcome visitor, whether during the sunlit days of summer or the dreary cold of winter. It often comes as a jolly pilferer to late summer gardens, where it feeds on the ripened seeds of the sunflower and lettuce, all the while filling the garden with its sweet, joyous notes. Again it may come all unannounced in mid-winter, in small companies, to feed of the seeds of the sycamore tree. On such occasions it may be seen feeding and swinging on the pendant balls. Few birds are so sprightly and joyful. The undulating flight is accompanied by sweet and plaintive notes which make it seem that the Goldfinch, in the exuberance of its joy, is strewing the fields and meadows with song. It nests late in the summer, after most of our birds have reared their young. The nest is in trees or bushes and is made of grasses and moss, lined with thistledown or other soft material. Four or five pale bluish eggs are laid. Classification: Order Passeres. Family Fringillidae. Scientific name: Astragalinus tristis. Range: Throughout eastern North America, from southern Canada and Newfoundland to the Gulf coast. Breeds over this range except in the most southerly parts

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