Image #197 – Goldfinches

American Goldfinches
American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

More bird pictures from last week’s snow storm. These American Goldfinches are showing their spring and summer coat of bright yellow feathers…more indication that spring is on the way.  Just a few weeks ago they were so drab, almost olive green.  It is a complicated bird according to Wikipedia:

“The American Goldfinch undergoes a molt in the spring and autumn. It is the only cardueline finch to undergo a molt twice a year.[14] During the winter molt it sheds all its feathers; in the spring, it sheds all but the wing and tail feathers, which are dark brown in the female and black in the male.[13] The markings on these feathers remain through each molt, with bars on the wings and white under and at the edges of the short, notched tail.”

Surely not ALL of its feathers? Can’t say that I have seen one naked American Goldfinch and I think he/she would stand out in a crowd. 🙂

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