March 18th, 2011 – Avian Friday: American Goldfinch

The American Goldfinch is the Washington state bird. The one pictured here is a male in fall plumage. The spring breeding plumage is a bright yellow color. They are the only member of their family to molt (complete shedding of body feathers replaced by new growth) twice a year, most other birds molt only once during the fall. They are also one of the latest songbirds to breed. This may be due to the availability of suitable nest-building materials and food required to nourish their chicks. They feed primarily on seeds. This one was feeding in a patch of thistles.  They are usually weary of people and not often easily approached. I used a super-telephoto lens coupled with a 2X teleconverter to double the focal length to get a closer shot of the bird.

View of an American Goldfinch. Seattle, Washington

Canon 1D Mark III, Canon EF-500/f4 IS + EF 2X Extender , 1000mm, f/8, 1/320 Sec, ISO 125, Hand-held. Post processing -,Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS5.

To see a larger version or please click on the image.Feel free to comment below if you like what you see or have any other observations. Thanks for stopping by,



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