... will soon be gold! Come May, the male American goldfinches now frequenting your feeders will shed their drab green-yellow wardrobe in exchange for bright gold and black feathers. It's spring, and male birds need to woo their lady friends with handsome, eye-catching colors.
Now a drab gray, the female goldfinches will molt into a brighter -- albeit less brilliant -- gold for spring and summer.
A female goldfinch came into the care of VINS staff at the end of February. In the photo, you can just barely make out this little golden nugget held by a staff member for her weekly weigh-in.
The bird was initially found in a woman's yard unable to fly, and we suspect the goldfinch flew into a window. We examined the bird and found a fracture in her swollen left wing.
As you can imagine, a goldfinch's bones are very small and thin. To wrap a broken wing on such a bird, we wrap the injured wing to their body in a "body wrap." That secures the bones and allows them to grow back together, and prevents us from handling the wing's wee bones too much.
Less than a month later, this little bird is flying like a champ in our outdoor songbird aviary. She is ready to go back to her home in the wild!