Avian Overload

Over the past week, we have been contributing to some very fat gold finches.


The American goldfinch is a common visitor to bird feeders. As a guest at the center said – They’re basically pigs with wings.

Regardless of the weather, whether it’s bone-chilling cold, a steady winter rain, or a light snow flurry, practically every perch on the tube feeders are filled all day long. Trying to count the constantly moving, dull colored birds seems impossible. On Saturday, a rough count brought me to 78 goldfinches, with a couple of black-capped chickadees, blue jays and red breasted nuthatches thrown in. (Yes, that is a 78.)

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You would think they haven’t eaten in a month.

Some other birds are able to find an open perch - like the red-breasted nuthatches and black-capped chickadees.

Some other birds are able to find an open perch – like the red-breasted nuthatches and black-capped chickadees.

While there’s a waiting line at the feeders, there’s always another, much larger pack of goldfinches on the ground. Among the countless fallen seeds, they are searching for any that are still intact.

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How many goldfinches can you count? I got up to 56. (You can click on the photo for a larger version)

It’s a joy to watch their antics throughout the day. When a blue jay or red squirrel wanders over to the fallen seed, the ~75 birds disappear almost instantaneously, moving as a large flock to the safety of the tippity tops of nearby trees. Once the coast is clear, the braver chickadees come back to claim a perch on the feeder. Then some goldfinches… and before you know it, there’s a goldfinch invasion once again.


Some innovative ones quench their thirst.

My favorite thing to watch are the thirsty ones who are brave enough to dangle from the roof’s melting icicles. While holding on tight, with the body completely sideways, they lap up the dripping water. I suppose it might take less courage for just a daring act when your wings can save if you start to fall. It’s still incredible that they can even hang on!

And to think this wonderful wildlife viewing is right outside my office window!

What are you seeing at your feeders?


One thought on “Avian Overload

  1. Right now, the usual suspects! Goldfinches, Chickadees, Hairy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, White and Red Breasted Nuthatches, and a lot of Doves.

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