American Goldfinch

Spinus tristis
American Goldfinch thumbnail
Length: 5 in. (13 cm )
Although uncommon in lowland desert areas, it is otherwise common throughout most of its range. This perky species occupies weedy fields, open brushy areas and forest edges where it often hangs from vegetation gleaning small seeds from branch tips and thistle heads. It feeds the young a liquid seed pulp and an occasional insect. During the winter this species usually travels in small to large flocks, often associated with other seed-eating species, such as Lesser Goldfinches and Pine Siskins. The small, cup-like nest is tightly woven with plant down and other vegetation and placed in the fork of a branch in a bush or tree at low to mid levels.

The four-digit banding code is AMGO.

Male | Jim Burns

Female | Robert Shantz



Riparian / River forest



Urban city
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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: American Goldfinch
  • Author(s): Dr. Biology
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: July 13, 2017
  • Date accessed: March 22, 2018
  • Link:

APA Style

Dr. Biology. (2017, July 13). American Goldfinch. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved March 22, 2018 from

American Psychological Association. For more info, see

Chicago Manual of Style

Dr. Biology. "American Goldfinch". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 13 July, 2017.

MLA 2017 Style

Dr. Biology. "American Goldfinch". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 13 Jul 2017. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 22 Mar 2018.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see
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