Finch Fun

Yesterday morning, my son was quietly building with his Lincoln Logs when he happily exclaimed, “Look, Mommy, a goldfinch!  There’s a goldfinch at the feeder!”  Now I had to run to the window to check it out, because I honestly can’t remember ever having any yellow birds in our backyard.  My son was correct.  Two goldfinches were quickly flying away!  I thought this was cool for a couple reasons.  First, the birds were beautiful.  I know there is nothing unique about these birds… they are supposedly everywhere.  But this is the first time I’ve noticed them near our home.  Secondly, I think it’s cool my 5-year-old was able to identify the bird without ever having seen one in real life.  He loves to flip through our bird book and look at the pictures while I tell him about the birds (their territory, what time of year you can expect to see them, etc.)  Now I know he’s really paying attention!

Unfortunately, the birds flew away too quickly for me to capture a photograph of them.  Here are a few photos of our regular visitors, the House Finch.

Want to enjoy birdwatching from home, with or without a child?  It’s a great way to connect with nature right from your home!  Check out this post… Connect with Nature:  Find Your Sit Spot.


  1. We have three feeders at our flat, and get a pretty decent variety of birds at them for living in the middle of a large city. Or did. My problem is pigeons. Once the pigeons find the feeders, they come in droves, drive off the other birds, eat all the seed in 15 minutes flat, and poop all over the terrace. Does anyone have any suggestions, aside from slaughtering the pigeons wholesale? How do I get rid of the dang things?


    1. First as to Nature Mom’s post, it’s very impressive that your son was able to identify the new bird from his own study. Now as to mmtread’s pigeon problem, you can buy feeders whose perching area is not friendly to big birds. There’s still the possibility that pigeons will eat fallen seeds on the terrace floor.

      Goldfinches are regular visitors to our feeders. They’re pictured eating from two different feeders in our yard in the second photo in this post. The one to the right is full of thistle feed. When I first put it out it took nearly a week for them to discover it. To the left a goldfinch is eating from a feeder that’s only partially shown, but it was designed so that only birds that cling (hang from the side of something) can use it. Goldfinches, chickadees and tufted titmice can use it comfortably. House finches are a bit too big for it. The try occassionally and can manage to get a bit of seed after much flapping. It would be impossible for a pigeon to eat from either feeder. The feeder for clinging birds was a relatively inexpensive feeder, too.


    1. Our feeder is loaded with sunflower chips.. I think that’s why it’s so popular. It’s a non-stop finch frenzy out there these days. The birds (finches, chickadees, towhees, jays, juncos, doves) have been crazy for the new feed I’ve been using for the past month. I’ve been considering a separate feeder with thistle for that exact reason… to attract the goldfinches.


      1. That works very well. When we lived in the Bay Area we had the sunflower chips feeder (which the goldfinches could use along with the other birds), in addition to the thistle feeder (which ONLY the goldfinches ate from). Plus I’d throw on the ground or bannister unsalted dried peanuts for all the happy critters! The peanuts can be bought in the grocery store – it is people food. Don’t buy the kind in shells – it makes a mess.


        1. That sounds like our plan. I don’t need to throw anything extra on the ground, as the jays are so big and messy (especially the stellar jay), they throw seed all over the ground. The doves, towhees, and juncos love it!


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