Nature Journal
with Photos

American Goldfinch Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
General Information
- Small, seed-eating bird
- Short, conical bill
- Short, forked tail

Male alternate
- Plumage held in Spring and Summer
- Black forehead
- Yellow head, back, breast and belly
- Black wings and tail
- White wing bars and tertial edges
- White rump and undertail coverts
- Pale bill and legs

Female alternate
- Greenish upperparts
- Yellow underparts
- Pale bill and legs

- Plumage held in Fall and Winter
- Yellow face
- Brownish-olive upperparts
- Whitish underparts
- Blackish wings with pale wing bars

Similar species
The male American Goldfinch in alternate plumage is quite distinctive. Female Lesser Goldfinch is similar to female and immature American Goldfinch but is greener above and has a white patch in the wing.
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