The American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) is a small North American bird in the finch family . It is migratory, ranging from mid- Alberta to North Carolina during the breeding season , and from just south of the Canada – United States border to Mexico during the winter .
The only finch in its subfamily to undergo a complete molt, the American goldfinch displays sexual dimorphism in its coloration; the male is a vibrant yellow in the summer and an olive color during the winter , while the female is a dull yellow - brown shade which brightens only slightly during the summer . The male displays brightly colored plumage during the breeding season to attract a mate.
The American goldfinch is a granivore and adapted for the consumption of seedheads, with a conical beak to remove the seeds and agile feet to grip the stems of seedheads while feeding. This Finch has also been known to eat garden vegetation , and is particularly fond of beet greens. It is a social bird , and will gather in large flocks while feeding and migrating. It may behave territorially during nest construction , but this aggression is short-lived. Its breeding season is tied to the peak of food supply, beginning in late July , which is relatively late in the year for a finch . This species is generally monogamous, and produces one brood each year .
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