Goldfinches are the only finch species that go through a complete color change molt two times a year. In the fall they take off their bright yellow, black, and white coat and switch to a muted olive color.
In October the Goldfinches separate into two groups based on age. Studies show that the birds hatched this year will generally stay in Michigan for the winter but their parents will go further south to winter. One thought is that the first year finches didn’t have to go through a molt and have more energy to survive a winter.
Just the opposite was found with Blue Jays. Studies show that the first year Blue Jays go further south to winter in a more plentiful habitat. While their crafty parents, perhaps knowing several survival tactics, stay the whole year.