14 April 2010

wildlife: Lesser Goldfinches

One thing that I've been seriously enjoying this year are these little Lesser goldfinches (Spinus psaltria). Two black-caped males are pictured on our finch feeder above.

I installed the feeder this year and the finches have just been all over it! Sometimes, more than 6 or 7 are vying for space at the nyger seed bar. Their song is beautiful and a welcome addition. John and I often wonder now, where were they hiding in past years?

This is a southwestern bird, and we're pretty much at the eastern edge of its range. Strangely, my friends west of us over in Westlake get tons of American goldfinches at their feeder and almost no Lessers. The complete opposite of our feeder. (Americans are a bit larger and have more yellow coloration, by the way.)

In the "supporting an ecology" category, we have some hawks in the neighborhood that are very loud and active. John spied one of the hawks the other day hunting the beautiful little finches in our yard. So, we bring in the seed, the seed brings songbirds, and the songbirds bring raptors. Food chains are cool!


RJGUTEX said...

We just experienced the same thing! Bunnies brought hawks to our yard.

Lee said...

It's funny, I just saw the hawks (I think they are Coopers) flap through the garden this morning and one of them was carrying a big old earth worm in it's beak!