August 30, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Gold Finches

"Where you find one bird, you will find a whole flock..."

By Karen Denison

At Home Outdoors

Karen Denison is owner of Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing guide service, a former biologist, and a shameless admirer of the outdoors.

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Come one, come all!  Lesser goldfinches (Spinus psaltria) are touring around in twittering clouds of black and yellow feasting on native sunflower seeds this time of year.  They are tiny, active birds about four and a half inches long which are in almost constant motion.  Males are striking black and yellow while females lack the black head.

Where you find one bird, you will find a whole flock as they glean bugs from branches and perform acrobatics to remove seeds from flower heads.  And like many diners, the group keeps up a steady stream of chirping conversation the whole while.

If you have small-seeded sunflowers or coneflowers, watch for these feathered jewels in late summer!

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