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On Monday night, we purchased a thistle feeder and some thistle seed with the sole purpose of attracting American Goldfinches to feed in our yard. (My goal is to create a photographic catalog of the local wildlife so each year I try to learn a bit more about the different birds and critters found in our area). 

Spring Golden Girl

“Spring Golden Girl” (American Goldfinch, Female in Winter Plumage) Nikon D300, 1000mm (600mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/800s, ISO 1250

I (impatiently) spent most of the day waiting for a pair of goldfinches still sporting their winter plumage to approach the feeder. Cautious by nature, the two spent what seemed like an eternity hanging out in the high branches of trees just passed our yard’s fence line. When they finally felt confident enough to come closer, I had (sadly) moved on so I was caught off-guard and not positioned in the very best location. (It’s not easy being a wildlife photog!) 

Spring Golden Boy

“Spring Golden Boy” (American Goldfinch, Male in Winter Plumage) Nikon D300, 1000mm (600mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/320s, ISO 640

Even so, I was glad to snap these images which will be added to the catalog. The couple didn’t stay long but at least now they are aware of this excellent new food source. I’m confident they will be back and can’t wait to capture them when they are displaying their full-on goldfinch colors! 🙂



  1. Well done Tracy and you know why I know this…lol.

    • Thanks! Ha! Yes, I do! I do hope that in the event I get things wrong, you will correct me? My goal is to be accurate but alas, sometimes, I am forced to guess! 🙂

  2. You are making me want to invest in a larger lens early. 🙂 Nice again!

    • Thank you, Sean! They are addictive lenses! I can see why the paparazzi like them! 🙂

  3. Such pretty birds. You nailed the focus on these!

    • Do you think they even know how pretty they are?? Taking lots of images insures one of them will be tack sharp! Thank you , Michaela. 🙂

  4. Someone has to fill these Goldfinches in about the time of year. Need to get on their best stuff for the Spring.

    Tracy, outstanding work on birds that don’t sit still for very long. Color me green with envy on your lens and TCs.

    • I know! Geesh! 🙂

      Thanks, Scott, I appreciate your comments! Now, me just being me, I really would have preferred if the background on the male was all that nice blue grey color…I hate the clutter of the tree! But, what can you do? Had I moved, he would have immediately flown away. I was hoping to try again but no sign of the pair today. Figures right?

      You are funny, Scott. Consider yourself colored ‘Spring Green!’ 😉

      • I’m sure that is as wide open as you can get with the lens/TC combo. Still, there’s enough bokeh to separate his rump from the background. I’m sure this won’t be the only time he’ll show up around here. 🙂

      • I hope you are right, Scott!

  5. He is cute. Such nice colors he has.

  6. Nice, nice photos. I especially like the top one.

    • Thank you! Nice to see a new face comment! Much appreciated! Do come back! 🙂

  7. I think these photos are brilliant, despite your location problems. Very clear. And you know, I was actualy surprised to read about your idea about the bird catalog, because I have decide to do the same, but in a small scale,- just of the birds/squirrel in our garden

    • Thank you, Birgitte! It’s more of a critter catalog (don’t want to leave anyone out!) I sometimes feel the ‘average’ creatures don’t get the recognition they deserve – folks seem to salivate after the exotics). I am simply trying to give the local wildlife credit! 🙂

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