Friday, July 28, 2006

The Birds in our Yard - Lesser Goldfinch

When we went to buy our first seed feeders, we saw lovely little yellow birds clustered on the demonstration model outside the store. I was charmed and immediately bought a thistle sock feeder and 20 lbs. of Nyjer seed. (Guizotia abyssinica).
This tiny black seed has a high oil content and is very appealing to American Goldfinches and other finches. ... The seed that is fed to birds commonly called "thistle" is actually imported from India, Ethiopia, Myanmar, and Nepal. It is heat-sterilized when it is imported into this country so it will not germinate and therefore will not grow (weeds) under your feeder. (J.J. Cardinal's Wild Bird & Nature Store)
For the first couple of weeks, the feeder was mobbed with House Finches. Finally the little yellow birds showed up - one or two at first, but then more and more. They are Lesser Goldfinches. They've been feeding from our sock feeder and later our metal thistle feeder since mid-May. I was apprehensive at first that they would be overwhelmed and chased away by the much larger House Finches, but they hold their own quite well.They ate the flower heads from our newly planted Desert Marigolds, and more recently have begun to feed on the seeds of a Butterfly Bush.

When I go out to fill the feeders, they fly up into the mesquite tree above my head, but don't go very far away.According to my Peterson Field Guide, they are resident in southern Arizona year-round. I wonder if they'll frequent our patio all year.


Mary said...

I love the little finches.They are so colourful. Sometimes in the winter months we have Gold finches in our garden. I am going to try harder this year to get some photos.

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

We also have the lesser goldfinches all year round. They are so fun.. I have been writing about them a lot. :-)

We don't get the greater goldfinches. LOL and I am sure that if you ask the finch.. they would not think that they were any lesser than the others.

chiefbiscuit said...

Must get me one of them sock feeders!

Pam in Tucson said...

mary - I remember Goldfinches from the UK and back east. They are glorious in their colour. I do enjoy the little flashes of yellow the male Lesser Goldfinches give off as they move around.

cynthia - LOL - love your comment about the Lesser Goldfinches' self-esteem. They appear quite self-assured and seem to enjoy life - at least at the feeder.

chiefbiscuit - The sock feeders are great. Only trouble is that they tend to get a bit fuzzy and they wear out. Ours has a small hole in it - the doves and quail take advantage of the seed leaking from the hole.