Look-up and be astounded by the beauty of these dynamic songsters as they rapidly flit among the trees, often in the upper canopy and quite often in mixed groups. Active and gregarious they flourish in the company of red-tinged, brown striped House Finches with which they share the characteristic, cone-shaped FINCH bill, so perfectly adapted to crack and eat seeds of many sizes. If you have a back-yard bird feeder, you’ll easily recognize them as familiar friends with a penchant for sunflower and shiny black Nyjer seeds. Springtime brings out the best in these flashy yellow and black acrobats.

Male goldfinch transform from a duller winter aspect into their flashy yellow breeding plumage. Females brighten up as well, but keep a toned down look to conceal themselves as they dutifully sit on nests and feed chicks. A male American Goldfinch in breeding plumage is a real showstopper. His bright yellow body, back and face are nicely set off by a spiffy black cap and wings. The male Lesser Goldfinch shows off a bright yellow body but with a dark back and full size black hat. His shiny black wings show a bigger splash of white by way of sharp contrast.

Winter, non-breeding males and females, on the other hand, don’t immediately draw your attention. They’re more of a smudgy brown and mustard color, with striped black and white wings. So enjoy the dazzling sunflower yellow of these social dynamos as they dash from tree to bush and back again all spring and summer.

Bird gallery

Bird of the month flyer

Betty Kanne

Betty Kanne is a passionate birder based in Huntington Beach, California, known for her captivating "Bird of the Month" features authored for the HB Tree Society. With a keen eye and a deep appreciation for avian life, Betty brings to life the diverse array of bird species that call the Huntington Beach area home.

Betty's contributions play a vital role in raising awareness about the importance of birds in our ecosystems. Her dedication to sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for birding inspires others to engage with nature and become stewards of their local environment, fostering a deeper connection between the community and the rich avian diversity of Huntington Beach, California.

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