Thursday, February 27, 2014

Goldfinch Signs of Spring

It's fascinating to observe the molt cycles for American Goldfinches.  Typically birds molt fairly close to their breeding periods, or at least immediately afterwards, or both.  Goldfinches, which breed deep into summer, still manage to start their plumage changes as spring is barely upon us.  Already I see the older males sporting some new plumage that evokes their summer finery.  Some time much later, the whole flock will complete the work and look snappy.  I have no idea why the long, strange cycle, but it is a nice sign of spring.  March is nearly here and the goldfinches are ready!

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