Sadly, I’ve realized in the past week or two that the American Goldfinches in my backyard have migrated home for the summer. It’s always sad to see them go. They are such cheerful little birds and their songs are so sweet. I enjoy hosting them for the winter.
The video below was taken back in January when the birds had not yet started to molt into their breeding plumage. In the wintertime they are rather drab little guys. They love to fight over ports on the niger feeders. It seems that it’s impossible for 8 birds to settle onto the 8 ports on the feeder. They are always having little skirmishes over who gets which port. This year the birds used my Porterweed plant as additional perches. At one point I noticed them sitting on the porterweed and reaching over to sample the niger. Silly birds! We also had one bird this year who consistently chose to eat upside down. He looked pretty silly hanging from the top of the feeder when everybody else was eating rightside-up!
As the spring days pass, the birds start to molt into their bright yellow breeding plumage. That’s pretty much when they tend to leave Florida, so I only get a week or two to try to photograph them in their pretty colors. I went out into my backyard several mornings and hid in the bushes, trying to get good shots. They love to sit in my crape myrtles as they wait for their turns at the feeder.
This year the sunflower seeds under my bird feeder sprouted, and I soon had a wonderful mass of yellow flowers around the feeders. I moved my blind to that corner of the yard, attempting to get the birds as they hopped to the sunflowers. They didn’t always appreciate me trying to get too close! But the squirrels loved the sunflowers. You’ll get to read more about that in another post. I did finally get a few shots of the goldfinches being what my mom calls “real birds” – that is, eating the seeds from the flower, rather than my feeder.
I’m already planning one of my summer projects, which will be to add some semi-permanent blinds to the yard. I also want to plant a patch of sunflowers next January or February, this time away from the feeders, so I can try for better shots. There’s nothing like having awesome birds visit you in your own back yard! Till then, little birdies…see you in November!