American Goldfinch Spinus tristis

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Fringillidae
  • Polytypic: 4 subspecies
  • Authors needed...


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Photos from this Account

Breeding male

Small finch with a short, conical bill and a short, notched tail. Breeding males are bright yellow with black forehead, black wings with white markings.

Nonbreeding male

Small finch with a conical bill and notched tail. Nonbreeding males are a drab, unstreaked brown, with blackish wings and two pale wingbars.

Breeding female

Breeding females are duller yellow beneath and more olive above than breeding males.


Immatures are brown above and pale yellow below, shading to buff on the sides. Two buffy wingbars mark their dark wings.


Females/immatures are pale yellow below and don't have streaked underparts.

Breeding male

Breeding males have a black forehead, a yellow back, and black-and-white wings. Some males have more white-tipped (worn) feathers on their wings than others.

Breeding male

Balances on the seedheads of thistles, dandelions, and other plants to pluck seeds.


Frequently feeds in flocks at sunflower and nyjer seed feeders.

Recommended Citation

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: