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Bird of the Week: Goldfinch

The Eastern Goldfinch is the state bird of New Jersey and a member of the finch family. Although some people refer to the goldfinch as a ‘Wild Canary’, they may not realize that the goldfinch only displays its bright yellow color during some of the year. When fall arrives, Goldfinches molt, and the male’s brilliant yellow becomes a dull brown and his black cap disappears. The American Goldfinch is the only member of its family to complete two full molts a year. They undergo a total molt of their body feathers in the spring as well-just in time for breeding season. Goldfinches are the among the latest of your backyard birds to breed, and although they may arrive in April, they wait until late June or early July to breed.

American Goldfinch

The best way to attract Goldfinches to nest in your backyard is to provide Nyjer Seed, which is full of fat and protein. Not only will this attract your beautiful golden friends, House and Purple Finches, Towhees, Juncos, and Pine Siskins will also come to your feeders. By keeping Finch feeders up all year round you will have a constant display of visitors to watch and enjoy! All Finch seed mixes require a special feeder with very small openings. Two great options are Finch Feeders and Thistle Sacks!

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