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American Goldfinch

Carduelis tristis 
Finch family (Fringillidae)

A small songbird. Male has a canary yellow body and black cap, wings, and tail. Female is yellowish green overall with black wings and tail. Undulating (wave-like) flight pattern.

Open meadows, forest edges.

Nests in a cluster of branches or on a horizontal limb of a tree or shrub, 5 to 15 feet above the ground. Eggs are light blue. Clutch size – 2 to 7 eggs.


Song is long, canary-like warble.  Call is "sweeyeet."  In flight, call is a continuous series of three notes:  “chip chip chip.”  We call it the “potato chip” call.

Name Origin:

The genus Carduelis is from the Latin for “goldfinch.”  The species name tristis is from the Latin for “sad,” inappropriately based on its song.

In the Nature Park:
Year-round resident. Common in open meadows and open areas near the buildings at the Nature Park.