Winter Goldfinch

People who live here are often surprised when they are told that Goldfinch (The Washington State Bird) winter over in our valley. In the summer the male birds are so easy to spot because of their vibrant yellow feathers and black and white striped wings.

In the winter they lose their mating colors and are less likely to be distinguished from other birds that fly around in the neighborhood trees and bushes. So, a lot of people think they are summer visitors only.

They twitter and chatter in our birch tree and flit down to my entry way to choose between sunflower chips or thistle seed. Some days they only chow down on one. Some days they devour both. I should ask the Audubon experts "why?."

These two pictures were taken through my dusty front door. They fly away if they see me move past.


Last year there was an outbreak of "bird pox" which devastated the finch population locally. It is highly contagious and will pass between the birds at feeders. As a result, I try to clean my feeders every few weeks with a tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water.

Some bird lovers are opposed to feeders; disease sharing being one of the reasons.

It is one more thing I need to ponder.

Comments

Claudia said…
I love watching birds feed and then listening to the birds singing. I had a bird feeder in Baltimore...and always made sure that there was seed in there, especially in the winter...
Trish said…
Birds are cute. And they cannot go around mooning people like some silly girl.
Bonnie B said…
Gold finches rock! I absolutely love them. Thanks for the info and for the (always) great photos
Jeanette said…
HI Pamela
Ive been away again so just catching up on my blogging friends
Nice story on Gold finches and great photo's.
Karmyn R said…
And at my house - they are joined by the lesser goldfinch.
Sue said…
We get the really bright yellow finches here during the summer. They drink from our hummingbird feeder..
Kathleen Marie said…
Gold Finches are so pretty. I have never heard of bird pox or that bird feeders are unhealthy. I would think that keeping them clean would certainly help. You can't keep them from co-mingling in other places.
That is a nice feeder you have.
Shauna said…
That's so neat!
Dusty front door - yea right:) - like we could really tell. . .
Kila said…
We have many bright Gold Finches around here. I never thought about bird feeders regarding the spread of disease. Hmmm. My parents have many bird feeders, and finches are among their favorites.
Robin said…
I've never seen that type of feeder before...I wonder if WE have goldfinches, hmmmm. If you're taking care of your feeder, surely it's a help to the birds (especially this time of year).

Oh, and remember (as if you'd forget)....."the dust can wait" ;).
Anonymous said…
never though about birds getting sick. but I guess there is nile virus. ivy

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