Wednesday, April 02, 2008
DO YOU HAVE GOLDFINCHES?
Everyone, we originally posted this blog entry in 2008 when we were seeing less goldfinches. If you came to this blog post because you were expecting answers about why you are not seeing goldfinches in any year, here is the answer.
Goldfinches are erratic about where they occur. They move around in winter depending on food sources. They may not appear in winter, spring, summer or fall in areas where they were previously. So at any time of year you may not be seeing them when you saw them before.
In addition, Goldfinches breeding range includes most of the northern two thirds of the country and into Canada. In winter, they leave the northernmost part of that range and are found in the rest of the U.S. including down into the South. Thus do not expect to see them in the far northern area of their range in winter, or the most southern part of their range in summer.
The best way to attract goldfinches is to keep feeders full of hulled sunflower, one of their favorites, or you can use thistle (nyjer) seed, make sure it is fresh.
For more reasons your goldfinches disappear in the fall, click here.
Where are the American Goldfinches?? They are not here where we are, in NH. Our friends and neighbors are asking the same thing. The above photo was taken here last year on April 16th. We had many goldfinches then. The Christmas Count data for this winter indicated 80 goldfinches in December in our area compared to 383 for the previous year, 07.
This past winter has been a record year for the irruption of northern finch species such as Common Redpolls into the U.S. The results of the 2008 Great Backyard Bird Count say
"Birders alerted earlier in the winter to a massive seed production failure of trees across northern Canada, were prepared for a huge southern flight of northern finches. True to the prediction, the GBBC shows record high numbers for Pine Grosbeaks, with 15,830 birds reported from 31 states and provinces, with highest numbers reported from Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba, and much higher than average numbers in many states including Maine and New York. Because of annual fluctuations in seed crops, even-numbered years are traditionally better for finding Common Redpolls and other finches and grosbeaks south of Canada, and 2008 proved to be one of the best flights of these birds in the past decade, with 100,805 Common Redpolls reported on the count, including checklists from 29 of the lower 48 States."
Were American Goldfinch numbers down in our area, and possibly other areas, because of the invasion of northern finches, because of low seed production in our area and other areas in the northern U.S., or for other reasons?
And where are all the American Goldfinches now?? Let us know if you have, or don't have goldfinches, by responding to the comments section of this blog entry, right below.