July 16, 2015 – Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)

These small finches are found in most of Central America and much of the western United States. They feed on seeds, primarily from plants in the sunflower family, as well as many small berries, buds, and fruits. The males’ coloration varies from a mostly greenish back on the West Coast to a completely black back in the West and Texas, with many variations in-between. Males claim breeding territories by singing loudly from a tall tree, then attract females with courtship calls. They then engage the females in high speed chases through dense foliage, ending on a branch where both display to each other. Females select the nesting site and build the nest, while males feed them before and during incubation.