Goldfinches are a welcome addition to anyone's birdfeeders.. They are known for their bright yellow and black coloring, which is most prominent during the breeding season. In the winter, however, goldfinches undergo a process called molting, in which they shed their feathers and grow new ones. This can cause their plumage to appear less vibrant.
During the winter, goldfinches have a mostly brown and drab appearance, with hints of yellow on their wings and tails. Very often people see them in the winter and think they are a completely different bird. But they are our lovely bright little friends, dressed down for winter. In the winter, they can also be identified by their distinctive conical beak, which is adapted for feeding on small seeds. They are also easily recognized by the black patterns on their wings and tail as they do not change in the winter.
Goldfinches are also known to change their diet depending on the season. In the summer, they primarily feed on insects and other invertebrates, while in the winter they switch to a diet of seeds. This is why they are often attracted to bird feeders filled with seeds, such as thistle or nyjer. Their strong beaks also allow them to eat unshelled sunflower seeds. Our goldfinches are lovely additions to our winter feeders but they do have tendency to sit on the feeder for a long time and simply eat, forcing other birds off the feeder. They travel in large flocks in the winter and while they can be feeder hogs, their cheery songs fill the forest edges with winter cheer.