American Goldfinch — Carduelis tristis

Order Passeriformes
Family Fringillidae
Genus Carduelis
Species tristis

The American Goldfinch was originally classified in the genus Spinus until merged into the genus Carduelis as a subgenus.

The American Goldfinch is a common backyard feeder and a year-round resident. The male is a small finch that is bright yellow in color with a black forehead patch, black wings, with white wing bars, and a black tail. The female is a dull yellow olive color. When flying, the Goldfinches have a noticeable undulating flight. In winter, both birds look like the female, but grayer. Goldfinches are often found in patches of thistles and weeds, dandelions on lawns, roadsides, open woods and wood edges. They can be found throughout the eastern United States.


Birds of the Arboretum

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Photo by Diane Lepkowski

Rufous-sided Towhee

Rufous-sided Towhee
Photo by Theresa Sullivan

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow
Photo by Marshall Faintich

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager
Photo by Greg Moyers