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Want to attract a goldfinch to your backyard feeder? (14 photos)

Local backyard birder, Jon Vopni, shares his photos and observations of the goldfinches that enjoy their dinners at his feeders

Local birdwatcher Jon Vopni has been forced to stay home due to the pandemic. He's enjoying the extra time to do some backyard birding and he is sharing his photos and observations of Goldfinches. He's also providing some tips on how to attract the bright yellow songbirds to your backyard.


I love these birds! They are so pretty to watch, their flight is very distinct in that they arc up and down as they fly, their song is melodic and gentle. their call is like trailing up trill, as if they are asking a question.

I recommend the Merlin Bird ID app to help you identify birds quickly and hear their song. It helps when taking photos if you know the song, then you know what bird is near. 

I will often play the bird song to attract the particular bird I am shooting. 

The Merlin app has this to say about Goldfinches: 

"Male has black forehead and throat, yellow breast, and complex black and yellow pattern on wings. Female is duller with ghost of male's pattern. Found in open grassy woodland. Uncommon, but sometimes travels in large flocks, especially in fall and winter. Highly erratic, moves around a lot from year-to-year; difficult to track down with much reliability. Feeds on seeds. Sometimes visits feeders."

I get these birds early spring and throughout the summer so you can’t have your feeder out early enough. I have mine stocked year round. They love the Nyjer seed but will also land on mixed seed feeders, it seems that shelled and unshelled black sunflower seeds are good and you will get other types of finches and the Cardinals too. I sometimes combine all three types to get a variety of birds and, to stretch out my seed stock.

It may take a while for them to find your feeder but once they do they will visit you often, every day. I have counted as many as 20 on my feeders at times flying about in acrobatic aerial dances they chase and interact with each other, establishing their position or courting a mate.They are skittish at first but after a while they seem to warm up to you a bit more but always stay a safe distance away.

I wish you luck attracting this beautiful bird and enjoying their company as much as I do.

Happy birding!

Here's a video featuring the Merlin Bird ID app audio clip of the Goldfinch song:



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