Birds are fun to watch and some birds are as beautiful as the finest works of art. This spring and summer we have been blessed with goldfinches, one of the most spectacular birds of all. We watched this spring as the males began molting and shed their drab olive plumage and slowly, but surely, sprouted brilliant yellow and inky black feathers. They are now in full color and they are plentiful.
This morning, there were 7 males at the feeder, each jockeying for position. We have found that our little yellow, feathered friends enjoy the thistle feeder, but they really love sunflower hearts. All birds do, in fact. It’s one of the few seeds that adults can universally give to juveniles.
Nancy has also planted a thistle bearing wildflower patch that includes rudbeckia, a beautiful flower relished by thistle eaters (and chipmunks!)
Our goldfinches are backyard regulars, though on occasion they vanish for a few weeks and pop up later. They have one nest per year with 4 to 6 eggs per nest. They typically nest in late summer and use the silky down from wild thistle to build their nests. I don’t know where they nest, but apparently close by. They are vocal little fellows, twittering in flight as they bob up and down.
Another backyard beauty is the cardinal with plumage so intensely red it can’t be captured by a camera. Our cardinals, right now, aren’t so beautiful. Many are beginning to molt and they look like they could use a dose of Rogaine. They’re bald as a baby’s butt. But in a few weeks, new brilliant scarlet feathers will grow as they continue to grace our backyard.