American Goldfinch

Interesting American Goldfinch Facts You Need to Know!

The American goldfinch, also known as the wild canary, is an easy bird to learn about. The little North American bird is part of the finch family, which is native to several areas of North America. Goldfinches are found throughout the United States and have been increasing in numbers over the past decade.

The American Goldfinch is extremely small. It’s migratory range, stretching from central Alberta to central Florida during the spring and fall, and south of the United States border to central Mexico during the summer is very large.

It’s migration patterns are determined by the availability of food, especially during the summer months when flocks of birds congregate to eat. In the summer months, males gather around the females’ nests to start a breeding program.

This leads to a mass migration during autumn, bringing together nearly all males, as well as females, of both sexes, including the young. Goldfinches are very fast flyers, so watching their movements over your window will give you some idea of how fast they fly.

During the summer months, the birds usually stay close to trees and shrubs in an attempt to hide from predators. But when the weather gets really hot, they often fly out into the open.


The American Goldfinch is a small bird with long, pointed wings and tail. It has a bright yellow plumage. The wings are black with two white bars on the inner wing. Males have a black mask around their eyes, while females do not.

Size and Weight

The American Goldfinch is a small, stocky bird that has been living in North America for centuries. You may not know this, but they are much smaller than you think!

  • Length: 4.1–5.9 in (10.5–15 cm)
  • Weight: 10–21 g (0.39–0.71 oz)
  • Wingspan: 7.87–8.86 in (20–22.5 cm)


The American goldfinch is migratory, moving from just above the Canada-U.S. border to southern Mexico and even as far south as northern Africa during the summer, and then from just west of the United States border to south-central Texas and Oklahoma.


One of its peculiar features is that it nests in hollowed-out trees. This behavior is not a problem for the birds, as trees are plentiful and trees provide a lot of room for nesting. The bird is also capable of moving very easily in a tree. In addition to the nest, the birds’ home is a cavity in a tree trunk or other hollowed-out tree.

A birdhouse is another place that can be found in a tree, though the average home is usually made of twigs and leaves. Some nests may even be made of grass, bark, or wood.

The female goldfinch lays about two to seven eggs, which hatch in four to six days. In spring, these birds will build a burrow under the bark or wood and hide in the ground for warmth. The female will lay eggs in the burrow, but it must not be disturbed by human beings or other wild birds while she is nesting.

The female will lay and incubate these eggs for about nine to fifteen days before she takes to flight and returns to her nest. The female’s eyes and beak may become discolored from the presence of chemicals in the eggshells.

A female goldfinch may mate several times and a male will mate with more than one female, but he usually only mates once. 


The American Goldfinch is a small bird that lives for approximately four years. They have an average lifespan of four years, with some individuals living as long as eight or nine years. The life expectancy of the species varies depending on if they are raised in the wild, or in captivity, and if they are male or female.

Males tend to live longer than females because their hormones can slow down aging; males may also be better at avoiding predators and other dangers that might shorten their lives.

Mating Season

In winter, these birds are extremely social. They gather together in large flocks and fly from tree to tree, singing, and dancing. When they fly, they spread their tail feathers wide apart to make their flight smoother. During mating season, the male and female mates often stay together all night in a group and courtship begins at dawn.

The male goldfinch has a “motor”. This is a series of curved, curving flaps at the base of the beak. These flaps rotate backward and forward as the male flips and turn his head. This movement helps him get an excellent view of potential mates.

American Goldfinch
Image by Miles Moody from Pixabay

Bird Song

The song of the bird is one of its most interesting characteristics. The males produce a high-pitched, screech that is similar to that of a woodpecker. They produce a series of chirps and notes, some of which are higher than others. The females produce a soft, mellow, lilting song.


The American goldfinches are not picky eaters, as they will eat almost any type of food. Even if a bird has birdseed on it, this bird will feed on it.

The birds eat almost anything that is leftover from their daily activities and will consume birdseed, berries, nuts, fruits, seeds, vegetables, and other seed mixes. In addition to being good to watch birds, these little birds are popular with bird watchers.

Not Territorial

Unlike other birds, goldfinches are not territorial and don’t usually go after other birds or other animals. The majority of them are very calm and peaceful. They are nocturnal, especially in warm weather.

When the weather begins to change, however, they can become more active and are usually found in tall trees, flitting from branch to branch, or hanging by their beaks from a perch.


However, like all birds, American Goldfinches do have predators. Bald eagles, hawks, eiders, crows, owls, caribou, and even coyotes are some of the most common predators of this wonderful bird. 

Where you may see them

American Goldfinch is a common bird that likes to spend most of its time in the garden and in the garden in trees. The birds are also very sociable and come to enjoy being close to other species.

They can be found in many gardens, parks, along walkways, on roadsides, and in other places and can be seen flitting across lawns, in gardens and backyards. They are also sometimes seen on bird feeders and in local parks.

Many people who own birdhouses and bird feeders will use a platform birdhouse to encourage the birds into their houses. The bird will then feed on the seeds placed in the birdhouse.

For a high-quality bird feeder for finches, you should take a look at the Squirrel Buster Finch Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder on Amazon. This bird feeder has 4 metal perches and 8 feeding ports and also has a feature that prevents squirrels from accessing the food, which is nice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are American Goldfinches rare?

Well, that depends on where you live. While they are fairly common in the western United States and Canada, they have become less common in eastern North America over the last few decades. This is a result of changing habitat preferences caused by climate change. There have been sightings of these small birds in many states including Colorado, Florida, Maine and Texas. 

Are Goldfinches friendly?

Are American Goldfinches Friendly? The answer is a resounding yes! American goldfinches are generally considered to be very friendly birds. Most people who come into contact with these beautiful little creatures find them quite sociable and personable.

Is the American Goldfinch endangered?

Many people believe that the American goldfinch is endangered, but this could not be further from the truth. There are over 24 million of these birds in North America alone, and they have a range of habitats all across the continent. 

Do Goldfinches return to the same nest?

It’s been documented that goldfinches will return to the same nest year after year. However, it has not been determined if this pattern holds true for all regions of North America or just some specific ones.

Do American Goldfinches eat suet?

American goldfinches will eat suet. In fact, they like peanut butter suet better than plain suet! They are attracted to the color of the peanut butter and will also peck at it in a way that resembles feeding on insect larvae.