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Saturday, July 10, 2021

American Goldfinch, Cool Finch Stuff


Cool finch stuff - This male American Goldfinch was recently sunbathing with spread feathers, on the head of an antique goose statue in my garden. When he then finished and preened, you can see his spread feathers and that just the tips of the body feathers are yellow. He's not in molt this time of year. The feathers usually overlap and he looks all yellow. The color is the result of the carotenoid pigments (from plant food) in the feather tips reflecting the yellow and ultraviolet light and absorbing light in the blue wavelengths. Memo to male goldfinches – eat your veggies! Female American Goldfinches prefer the brightest yellow males, the bright yellow a sign of the male's nutritional fitness and ability to get food. Knowing the amazing adaptations below the surface of this common finch adds to their mystery and the richness of your experience with them.

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