Are you a summer kind of person? American Goldfinches (Carduelis tristis) are a summer kind of bird! This beautiful visitor to backyard feeders is one of the last species to begin the nesting cycle each year, typically waiting until late June or early July.

When so many other birds are busy caring for “teenage” fledglings by then, why do goldfinches wait so long? The answer is simply that they are essentially 100% seed-eaters (herbivores). They even offer seeds to their newly hatched youngsters. By waiting until “the livin’ is easy,” they allow native grasses and herbaceous plants an opportunity to set seeds. This assures a plentiful supply of “baby food.” Offer a finch mix or nyjer seed in a nyjer-style tube feeder and you can help with the daycare responsibilities. While you are doing so, don’t miss the chance to see these beautiful birds in their brilliant summer hues of yellow, white, and black as they travel from your feeder to their nest.