American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

The American Goldfinch is a beautiful songbird that you can easily attract to your backyard.  The males have bright yellow coats with a bold black cap and black wings barred with white. The female is less striking with olive-yellow feathers.

General Information

Name::American Goldfinch
Scientific Name::Spinus tristis
Size:4.3–5.5 inches
Habitat:Orchards, gardens, hedges, and shrubberies
Diet:Seed and insects


The American Goldfinch is a beautiful songbird that you can easily attract you your backyard.  The males have bright yellow coats with a bold black cap and black wings barred with white.

The coloring of the American Goldfinch is a bright yellow during the late spring and summer, then dulls, to an olive color going into winter.


The female goldfinch is a dull yellow-brown year round and only brightens a tad during the summer months.


The birds are nomads and enjoy traveling around to meadows. fields, roadside, and backyards that offer a wide variety to eat.  

In The Yard

The American Finch, Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins normally pack together for the winter months.All of which are common to see eating from feeders.

The birds are not picky on the type of feeder they will eat from, they will cling to swinging feeders and rest at platform feeders. Offer a diet of nyjer seed and sunflowers to make them happy.

Grape Jelly
Chopped peanuts

Nyjer Seed
Sunflower Seed

Seed They Eat In The Wild & Gardens

Offer a bird buffet and leave garden flowers like sunflowers and coneflowers up in late summer going into early fall and the birds will visit your flower buffet. This will prime the birds to stick around and eat from your feeders during the winter months.



Nesting Info

Habitat:In shrubs near meadows and fields where weedy seed head plants grow
Nest ShapeCup shape
Eggs:2-7 eggs
Incubation:12-14 days
Fledging:11-17 days after hatching

General Nesting Information

The finches nest in late summer. In July and August the raising 1 brood of young during the time that seed and shrub cover is plentiful.

American Goldfinch waits until later in the season because that is when thistle down is ready and abundant to line the inside of their nests. The thistle plant is extremely important to the goldfinch lifecycle. Adults use the seed as a food source for themselves and their young and the plant filament is used in nest building.

The nest is usually made in a fork of some lichen-covered fruit tree. It is made of moss, vegetable down, fine roots, and dry grass stems, cemented with spiders’ webs and a few bits of lichen, and lined with feathers, down, and hair.

Females lay 2-7 that are white, with a greenish cr grayish tinge in color, spotted and streaked with purplish-brown, The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 14 days, during this time the male will feed her. The young stay in the nest for 11-15 days where the adults feed young. Young American goldfinch will stick around the adults for up to 3 weeks insisting on being fed after leaving the nest.

Additional Posts

Products Carrying Images

Related posts: