This beautiful American Goldfinch was a surprise visitor to our backyard this afternoon. I was quite certain these birds had all left the area as I hadn’t seen one in at least three weeks.
Most surprising of all is that this is an adult breeding male. The birds we hosted during the winter all wore their non-breeding plumage. Does the fact that this little guy’s coloring has already changed mean that he’ll be remaining in this area to breed? According to an article from Passport to Texas:
“The American goldfinch breeds across southern Canada and in all but the most southerly portions of the United States and spends the winter months from the northern tier of states to Mexico. Although a common winter resident throughout most of Texas, the goldfinch remains to breed only sparingly in the northeastern corner of the state.”
We’re certainly not in the northeastern part of the state, but with the extreme weather changes we’ve been having over the past several years, perhaps the breeding ground for these birds is creeping westward.
A House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) decided to join our visitor for lunch!
I certainly hope this American Goldfinch hangs around for the summer — and that he finds a mate if he hasn’t already. But even if he decides to move on, he certainly was a welcome sight today!