Goldfinch, American bird picturesAMERICAN GOLDFINCH
529. Astragalinus tristis. 5.25 inches
These beautiful little creatures are often known as Thistlebirds and Wild Canaries, the former name because they are often seen on thistles, from the down of which their nests are largely made, and the latter name because of the sweet canarylike song.
Their flight is a peculiar series of undulations accompanied by an intermittent twitter.
They are very sociable and breed usually in communities as well as travel in flocks in the winter.
Their food is chiefly of seeds and they often come to gardens in fall and winter to partake of sunflower seeds, these flowers often being raised for the sole purpose of furnishing food for the finches in the winter.
Song. - Sweet, prolonged and canary-like; call, a musical "tcheer," and a twittering in flight.
Nest. - Of thistledown, plant fibres and grasses, in forks of bushes, most often willows or alders near water. Four or five unmarked, pale bluish eggs.
Range. - N.A. east of the Rockies; breeds from Virginia and Missouri north to Labrador; winters in U.S.