Our backyard American Goldfinches are yellow eating machines.
As soon as we put out fresh seed, the bright yellow checker taxi cab-looking birds come flying in, lining in a row to feast on everything in sight.
The bird’s voracious appetites kick into gear in April and reach their crescendo in August. What’s most incredible is that these tiny songbirds weighing .5 ounces take over and drive all the other birds off our feeders.
The larger birds like grackles, Blue Jays, and even Red-winged Blackbirds are no match for the mighty American Goldfinch.
What about these handsome yellow birds keeps them glued to our feeders for five months straight?
American Goldfinches are Seed Eaters
American Goldfinches are true vegetarians. Some might call them vegan because they eat only seeds. But do they ever eat insects? We researched if these birds break their vegetarian diet. They most likely do this while feeding their young, who benefit from insects’ protein for growth.
We’re vegans and understand constantly feeling hungry.
So why are these yellow-eating machines eating all the seeds in our bird feeders?
The answer is their diet.
Diet Coincides with Summer Seed Production
American Goldfinches are unlike other songbirds in our backyard that nest in early spring. These beauties usually nest in late July to September when other songbirds are done with the breeding season.
The American Goldfinch’s nesting season is nature’s brilliant adaptation that coincides with the late summer seed production.
These gold beauties love their thistle, but they also enjoy a variety of weed, flower, and grass seeds. And, of course, sunflower chips.
You can hear goldfinches in open fields, backyards, and woodlots on hot summer days. Watch them closely to observe their bouncy aerial pattern as they reach their landing spot. An American Goldfinch’s energetic flight pattern is best described as a yellow tennis ball floating up and down in the wind.
Goldfinches are true connoisseurs of what they eat and know their seed. So, if we fill a 36-inch, 20-port Droll Yankees Finch Flocker Birdfeeder with nyjer seed and it spoils at any level in the feeder, then the goldfinches disappear.
Our 36-inch Finch Flocker requires quite an investment of nyjer seed, so we check the forecast before filling this colossal feeder.
Little Birds Have Voracious Appetites
Birdwatchers associate the goldfinch with nyjer seed, but our birds enjoy sunflower chips from tube feeders with feeding trays. These tiny yellow birds have voracious appetites, and there isn’t a waking moment that goldfinches aren’t visiting the feeders. So we need to reorder as soon as our delivery of 60 lbs of sunflower chips arrives.
If anyone owns a bird seed company out there, please reach out about partnering with us. We love trying new products and keeping our backyard birds well-fed.
So the goldfinches eat us out of house and home, but it’s a small price to pay to have these beautiful, brilliant yellow birds call our yard home all year long.
The American Goldfinch provides the backyard soundtrack all year round, serenading us with their twittering “per-chic-o-ree” or “potato-chip” calls.
David Sibley, author and illustrator of the Sibley Guides, describes the goldfinches’ call as a soft-whistled descending series of ti di di di. Of course, the calls sound different to each person, but seeing these stunning yellow birds and hearing their adorable calls elevates your mood and puts a smile on your face.
How can we put a price on that?
If “the bluebird carries the sky on his back,” according to Henry David Thoreau. Then, we’d like to add that the brilliant American Goldfinch carries sunshine on his.
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