American goldfinch and sunflowers in July

American goldfinch (Carduelis tristis).

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This is exciting. I was taking photos of peppers when an American goldfinch flew over to a Maximilian sunflower in the old apple tree area and started eating sunflower seeds right off a sunflower. I didn’t dare to move, so just stood there and kept snapping away until he left.

No question but this American goldfinch is a male. Male goldfinches turn yellow in summer. They also have a black patch on their forehead and white wing bars that they keep year around. Look at my earlier posts of American goldfinches to see how males are similar to females in color during the winter. Except for the black patch on their forehead and the white wing bars. All this according to Birds of New Jersey, my goto book for Jersey bird identification.

Goldfinches are supposed to love nyjer seeds, but according to my observations, they love sunflower seeds better. And they seem to love sunflower seeds straight off the sunflower best of all.

Here he is looking, and looking, and looking, then selecting the best seed, and finally enjoying his fresh seed find.

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