Finding that extra energy to go through a complete molt in the spring means there has been a feeding frenzy at my feeders lately. They are so fun to watch!
Many people don't realize that the American Goldfinches are not bright yellow all year. In fact they are the only finch in North America to go through a complete molt two times a year.
In the spring the male turns bright yellow with a black cap, wings, and tail, and white rump. In the photo the male goldfinch is just starting to get a few black feathers on his head and bright yellow feathers on his body. The female keeps the duller brown color and lacks the black cap.
The American Goldfinch’s legs, feet and bill also change from a dark grayish brown to a buffy yellow orange color.