About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Attract goldfinches to your garden

When do the goldfinches return to Michigan?
Male and female American Goldfinches at Nyjer feeder in summer colors.
March is the goldfinches’ transition time. Just as the daffodils bloom, the male goldfinches exchange their dull winter coat for their bright yellow plumage.
You can see yellow feathers and a black cap coming.
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Many customers think the American Goldfinches disappear in the winter. Actually, in the fall both male and female goldfinches molt into an olive brown plumage, but continue to feed actively in Michigan. In the spring the male turns bright yellow again with a black cap, wings, and tail, and white rump. The female keeps the duller brown color and lacks the black cap.
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Molting can take a lot of energy and feeders full high fat foods like Sunflower or Nyjer thistle are the easiest way to attract the American Goldfinches. Habitat is also important. In this case you do less work, not more. They love to eat dandelion and grass seeds and don't cut off the tops of your Marigold, Zinnias, Cosmos, or Coneflowers...Goldfinches love them. A row of sunflowers along the fence can attract finches as well as a variety of other birds too.
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And if you don’t have a natural water source nearby, set up a bird bath. Place it among shrubs and low-branched trees so goldfinches can keep watch for predators while descending gradually toward the water. Wild birds can obtain some water from their food, but goldfinches are vegetarians and like to sip from shallow baths where available to wet their whistle.

Related Articles:
European Goldfinches http://bit.ly/Q2Cu37
Goldfinch Migration http://bit.ly/MzGSPD
Are Goldfinches here in the winter? http://bit.ly/PZu5ML
Goldfinches: The Last Birds Nesting http://bit.ly/PZuejj
Bird of the week: American Goldfinch http://bit.ly/PZum2a

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