American Goldfinch And Plumage Variations

This little fellow decided to make a stop on one of my light stands in the garden. It is either a female or male in non-breeding plumage. It looks to me more like a female, although it's hard to identify from the distance as wintering plumage for male and female goldfinches is rather similar.

That day I was photographing in the garden and had the camera and few lights already in the setup when I went back to the kitchen to get a glass of water. As soon as I got into the house the finch landed on one of the unused light stands, either to investigate the camera gear or to ensure that it is now safe to get to one of the bird feeders.

As my 1Ds camera was left in the backyard I quickly grabbed my backup camera Canon 10D and shot through both the window and the mosquito screen. The photograph's yellowish tint was caused by the mosquito screen together with the winter-burnt grass in the background. The photograph was taken in early March.

American Goldfinch in Non-Breeding Plumage

 

Other illustrations of the American Goldfinch plumage
Below is a more clear shot of the American Goldfinch female taken in March with a sunflower seed:

American Goldfinch Female in Non-Breeding Plumage

 

The underbelly plumage and coloring of the male American Goldfinch, taken in March:

American Goldfinch Male Underbelly Plumage and Coloring

 

And lastly, the breeding plumage of the male American Goldfinch, taken by end of April:

American Goldfinch in Breeding Plumage - Photograph taken in end of April

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