Thursday, July 18, 2013

This week's Crops & Clips: American Goldfinch

Back in Illinois, our first jaunt was to the north (prairie)  side of nearby Dick Young/Nelson Lake Forest Preserve in Batavia, Kane County. 

The sun was hot and there were shadows and much glare. The Canon 100-400mm L f/4.0-5.6 IS USM lens I borrowed from our son-in-law had trouble with the way its autofocus worked with my Canon 60D, so I  am not happy with the quality of the images. 

 American Goldfinches 20130628

American Goldfinch 3-20130628

American Goldfinch 2-20130628

American Goldfinch 20130628

Here are some of my earlier photos of this species. The first three were taken at Jones Meadow Park, North Aurora, Kane County, Illinois.

Male American Goldfinch on Redbud, April 29, 2009:

American Goldfinch 20090429

A baby goldfinch, on the right, begs from its mother: "Got milk?" One of the few bird species to feed their young no insects, they engorge thistle seeds and nourish their young with a protein-rich "milk" that is secreted from their stomach linings (August 15, 2010).

Baby Goldfinch wants Milk 20100815

Baby Goldfinch wants Milk 2-20100815

Goldfinches and Thistles ... go together like Bells and Whistles. Common as they are on the prairie, I never tire of seeing, hearing and photographing goldfinches around and above me. 

This is their peak season, as the thistle begins to go to seed, providing them both food and shelter. Other birds have nearly finished their breeding and are hiding away to molt, but the goldfinches are eating the seeds and gathering the down of the thistles for their nests. 

These photos were all taken at Nelson Lake--

July 7, 2011:

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) and thistles 2-20110707

American Goldfinch and thistles 20110707

American Goldfinch 20110707

Female on August 5, 2009:

Goldfinch Close 20090805

Pretty as a picture (June 18, 2009):

American Goldfinch Framed 20090618

Shared in The Bird Depot


  1. the first ones are rather 'arty' and would make cool notecards. they are gorgeous birds. :)

  2. Beautiful series, Ken! As you know, here in Florida, we typically see them in much plainer plumage during migration.

  3. gorgeous images. Especially the two with the young.

  4. Wonderful series! I love how their colors change over the seasons :)

  5. You took some great images there Ken. Still can't decide if your American Goldfinch is pretier than our European one. Lets just say that they are both brilliant? My Canon suffers with noise in certain light conditions too.

  6. Great series on the Goldfinch!

  7. Wonderful looking birds - they are such an intense yellow.

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW

    Stewart M - Melbourne

  8. I especially liked the finches amongst the thistle blossoms...and the baby ones.

  9. Always a beauty!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  10. A very beautiful series of photos! And love the light glowing through the fluttering wings of the baby goldfinch!


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