G for Goldfinches

posted in: Birds | 23

The American or Eastern goldfinch, Carduelis tristis, belongs to the finch family.

These cheeky little birds frequent the garden in all seasons.  They flock to the feeders, especially before a storm, and will also flit from flower to flower in the garden looking for seeds.  Here they are in their winter plumage.


The markings on their wing and tail feathers is lovely and seems a lot darker when the birds are in their summer plumage.  You can pick out the finches as they fly through the garden as they move in an undulating or up and down flight path.goldfinches5a

They love the black oil sunflower seed feeders and the nyger feeders.

goldfinch blackoil

Their bright canary yellow feathers (in spring and summer) make them easy to spot.   Goldfinches molt and have a more dull plumage in winter.  They don’t seem to mind the ice and snow and visit the feeders all the time.  Seeing them in winter always brightens my day.

goldfinch icyfeeder

The short, conical beak is typical of the seed eating birds. They average about 11 cm. in length and can weight up to 11 grams.


We have a couple of feeders just for these birds, one is full of black oil sunflower seeds and the other is full of nyger seed.  There is also a nyger sock feeder that they love.

goldfinches at the nyjer sock feeder at craftygardener.ca

A large group of goldfinches is called a charm.  And they are certainly charming to see.

a charm of goldfinches at craftygardener.ca

This photo was taken in February 2017 when the charm of goldfinches was seen swooping, landing, and hovering in the back field.  I keep looking this year but haven’t seen anything yet.


I think they love our garden as we have a wild patch towards the back and I just let whatever wants to grow there, bloom and mature into seeds. I also grow lots of plants and leave the seed heads on over the winter so that they can find food and give us enjoyment as we watch them.

goldfinches at the hanging mesh feeder at craftygardener.ca

We have a hanging mesh feeder that they love to land on and enjoy a snack.  It does hang outside all year but the above photos were taken in the summer time.

I love revisiting the photo archives and older posts during the winter months.  I get tired of seeing snow and snowy photos, and I’m sure you do to.  So I’m enjoying myself dreaming of gardening season and colourful birds and plants.  Some of the posts have older photos along with newer ones.

ABC Wednesday is up to G.  G for goldfinches.

I’m also sharing with Wild Bird WednesdayI’d Rather B Birdin’ , Saturday’s Critters and  Mosaic Monday.


lots more lens friends

birds in the garden … critters in the garden … water birds

Alphabetical posts


23 Responses

  1. Margy

    The picture of the frozen feeder made my toes feel cold. Sometimes I wonder how such delicate little birds survive the winter. – Margy

  2. Stewart M

    What a great looking bird – gold is the correct description I think!

    Cheers – Stewart M – Melbourne

  3. Margie

    I can relate to your winter fatigue, Linda. So it’s uplifting to see the colourful flowers and birds on blogs. The countdown to spring is on…

  4. Sarah

    What fun to see these beautiful birds up close. I’m ready for spring myself, but the grey, cold days linger even here in central TX.
    Happy Mosaic Monday!

  5. Lorrie

    They are such pretty little birds. I didn’t know about their plumage changing from summer to winter. I’m hoping to encourage finches to our garden this year with nyger seed. I’ve heard they like it and rats don’t. We’re investigating feeders that won’t encourage rats. There are more than enough of those pests in our city.

  6. Myrtle

    Beautiful captions of the Goldfinches, so beautiful in the summer but love to see them in the winter also. I often wonder how such small birds can survive in the winter

  7. Cathy

    When we lived on the East Coast we had a flock of goldfinches that came to our feeders. I kept a special feeder attached to the dining room window so that I could watch them because they were so much fun to watch. When they would empty the feeder they would knock on the glass to get me to come and refill the feeder! I miss those little rascals.

    • Linda aka Crafty Gardener

      It’s lovely to hear from you Cathy, hope things are going well for you. That’s a lovely story about the goldfinches, they certainly do brighten up the day when they arrive at the feeders.

  8. Kea

    They’re such pretty little birds, even with their winter plumage. It must be such a joy to see all the varieties of birds that come to your feeders, particularly in winter when it’s so bleak otherwise.

  9. Robin

    So lovely to see the goldfinches in their summer colours! A number were in our backyard today eating the tamarac cones. I managed a couple photos. I must try a nyger sock. Looks like they do love it.

  10. Lavender Dreamer

    I’m happy to see pics of the Goldfinches! For some reason we are not seeing any here now. Lots of Warblers and even some house finches….but none of these pretty birds! ENJOY!!!

  11. Maggie

    Beautiful images of wild birds will brighten up any day especially a cold and wet one here in Normandy. I don’t think I’ve seen any finches in our garden but I’m hopeless at identifying birds so will get my little book out and keep checking.
    Thanks for sharing them with us at MM this week.

  12. Ken Schneider

    This is our 14th winter since moving to south Florida, and goldfinches visited our first winter and not again for 10 years, when a large flock showed up on a pine tree in the wetlands. I do get to see them every year at our second home in NE Illinois. Love their bouncy flight and rollicking calls and song.

  13. BumbleVee

    I wish they would “charm” my place. I have only every had one and a beauty it was. I was so happy to get a photo of it as it is a bit of a rarity in our yards around here.
    Beautiful birds…..

  14. Lea @ Lea's Menagerie

    A charm of goldfinches – lovely!
    We have a lot of them here right now in the southern US in their duller winter feathers. Just as they began to get their bright yellow feathers most of them will migrate north. Only a few stay with us all year.
    Great photos!

  15. Marie-OR

    Spring will be here soon…one can only hope! Snow is falling in my world right now. I haven’t noticed the goldfinches this winter, but hopefully will again soon. Great photos!

  16. Angie

    Learned something new today – a ‘charm’. How appropriate! I do enjoy them in the summer when the males have their bright plumage – it is always a delight to see such a bright color on a bird!

  17. Eileen Wise

    Hello, The Goldfinches are sweet birds. I love to see them at my feeders. Which is not often lately. It is nice to see the summer time and the finches looking so bright and beautiful. Wonderful post and photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. I also appreciate your comment and visit. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day and weekend!

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