Lesser Goldfinch

Martin Smart

Nanaimo, Canada

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JOINT WINNER of the Y is for Yellow or Youngster Challenge in the Alphabet Soup Group

WINNER of the Birds Category – Family – Fringillidae – Finches Challenge in the Nature Photography Challenge Group

WINNER of the The Fade in, Fade out and Texture Songbird Challenge in the Songbirds of North America Group

2nd Place in the Very Yellow Challenge in the Quality Art & Photography Group

3rd Place in The Yellow Challenge in the CatRaven Challenge Group

Featured in “I Love Birds” August 2009
Featured in “California Sound” November 2010
Featured in “Amazing Wildlife” March 2011
Featured in “Nature Photography Challenge” May 2011
Featured in "The World As We See It , or as we missed it April 2012
Featured in “Featured For a Challenge” May 2012
Featured in “Alphabet Soup” December 2012

A male Lesser Goldfinch perched on a tree twig in Solvang, California.

The Lesser Goldfinch or Dark-backed Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria) is a small songbird 10-11cm long and weighs in at about 9.5g. It is the smallest North American Carduelis species.
Males can be identified by their bright yellow under-parts and white patches in the tail and on the wings at the base of the primaries. They range from having solid black to medium green from the back to the upper head including the ear-coverts. The back, crown and ear regions vary in darkness rather independently though normally the ears are not darker than the rest.
The upper-parts of females and immature birds are more or less grayish olive-green and their under-parts are yellowish, buffier in immatures. They have only a narrow strip of white on the wings (with other white markings in some forms) and little or no white on the tail.
The Lesser Goldfinch ranges from the southwestern US (near the coast, as far north as extreme southwestern Washington to Venezuela and Peru. It migrates from the colder parts of its U.S. range. It is common in dry brushy fields, woodland borders and gardens. It feeds mostly on tree buds and seeds.

Canon 20D
1/640sec f8 ISO 200

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