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American Goldfinch

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He still looks a little patchy. Here's what Sibley's says about the molting process:
Beginning in September and continuing for six to eight weeks, American Goldfinchs molt all of their feathers, ending up with a completely new and pristine set of feathers (and drab colors) as they head into the winter. In the spring, as they grow new body feathers the males especially transform into bright yellow breeding plumage, but the wing and tail feathers remain from the previous fall. As these wing feathers get older the pale buff edges fade to white and disintegrate, so that by the end of the summer the wings look essentially all black. And in September another complete molt begins.

Taken Sat, Apr 12, 2014 in Litchfield, IL.

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cinderfire

Great to see them so bright and pretty again. TFS dear.

PLG1958

Love it!

Gladstone

Great picture Laura.
Thank you for the pic and all the info.

laurajane

Thanks so much everyone...Smllpkg, Don, Jan, Shirley, Cathy and Toto! Photographing birds is a lot of fun. I just have trouble getting them to sit still....

Toto

Wonderful photo, Laura, so full of life. Thanks.

cevas

He's beautiful !! And you took a great picture!!! We can even see that he has a sunflower seed in his mouth!!!!

Shian2

He will be handsome again, gorgeous colours, Thanks, Laura.

JiggyBelle

This is such a gorgeous little beauty. FABULOUS photo, Laura. Thanks!

dondi

He's a beauty - motley or no - and it's an excellent photograph!

smllpkg101

He's almost finished with his molting. Such a pretty bird.

laurajane

Glad you liked this, Jim, Lcwarfi and SunnyBarb! They look like they have the mange when they are molting in the spring.

SunnyBarb25

Thank you for this puzzle, Laura, and for the info. I did have them coming to my feeder when I lived up north but did not know about their two color phases. And now I do :)))

lcwarfi

how interesting! i didn't know that about them. and such a handsome lad he is! thanks for sharing!

jcarroll

Beautiful photo, Laura! Love the info!

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