The lesser goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) is a very small songbird of the United States. The bird has a crown, nape, back, and upper tail covert uniform greenish-grey to olive green in color. The bird displayed black primaries and secondaries with two indistinct buff white wing bars. The tail is black except for two distinctive white crescents on the inner webs of the outer rectrices.
These white crescents did not extend to the entire underparts from the base of the bill to the undertail converting a uniform canary yellow tinted with an olive wash on the flanks. The bills and legs are dark pink and the iris is black. The Lesser Goldfinch diet consists mainly of buds, weed seeds, coffeeberry, sunflower seeds, elderberry, and developing fruits. The bird apparently requires a large amount of water to facilitate the ingestion of seeds.
As they are concentrating on the streams and spring. The bird often occurs in flocks at least of six birds and mixes with other birds, i.e., American Goldfinch, Lawrence’s, Pine Siskins, House Finches, Lark Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, and Western Bluebirds. This petite species may be the smallest true finch in the world. The finch is just 3.5 to 4.7 in length and weighs from 8 to 11.5 g.
The nesting season is in summer, lays 3 to 4 bluish-white eggs in a cup-shaped nest made of fine plant materials. The bird nest is often found in cottonwoods and willows along rivers, made of rootlets, lichens, and strips of bark, placed in a bush or at low or middle levels in a tree. It is a quick little bird, continuously hovering and jerking its tail while feeding. The male bird also feeds the female bird when she’s in the nest during incubation.
The Lesser Goldfinch is a full-year resident from northern South America to the Southwestern United States and most commonly from the southern Gulf Coast of Texas to California and up the West Coast into Washington.
The species also breeds in northern Texas, Utah, Colorado, and Northern Nevada. Lesser Goldfinch breeds all year round, maybe less often in Sep/Oct. This is the least concerned bird on the ICUN list due to its vast range.
Lesser Goldfinch vs American Goldfinch
The American goldfinch can be illustrious by the males having a black rarely green forehead, and the latter is red or yellow in the European goldfinch and its relatives. However, the North American males are markedly polymorphic, and 5 subspecies are often named; at least 2 of them seem to represent a less-progressed stage in evolution.
The lesser goldfinch on the wing has the same dipping, bouncy flight as the American Goldfinch. The lesser goldfinch often comes to feeders along with other finches such as American Goldfinches and Pine Siskins.
Lesser Goldfinch Song
The Lesser Goldfinch is a small, social songbird, that inhabits a wide variety of habitats. The vocalization of lesser goldfinch and American goldfinch is probably among the longest and most varied of passerine birds.
The vocalization is usually a prominent sound in goldfinch habitats. Hence, listen closely to their wheezy songs, and habitually include snippets from the songs of other birds. The lesser goldfinch call includes a plaintive, kittenlike tee-yee, a very complex jumble of musical phrases, often mimicking other species.
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