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What's that bird in my backyard?

Male Goldfinch

One of the most cheerful and colorful birds you will see in Western New York is the goldfinch! Male goldfinches are bright yellow during the late spring and summer, while females are a lighter yellow or olive color. In winter, both males and females exhibit a duller olive/brownish color. In fact, the goldfinch is the only finch that molts body feathers twice per year…once in later winter/early spring and again in late summer/early fall. In flight, their call has been described as sounding like “po-ta-to-chip”, or as we have noted personally it sounds like the bird is laughing while flying. American Goldfinches are common to backyard feeders where they enjoy nyjer seed, black oil sunflower seeds and sunflower chips. They show up at a variety of feeders including sock feeders where they can cling while they enjoy a nyjer seed feast. It is a fun sight to see them cling, sometimes horizontally or even upside down to eat! Be sure to keep a look out for these fun, cheerful and acrobatic flyers in your backyard!

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