Unlike many colourful songbirds such as the Baltimore Oriole and the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, the American Goldfinch is with us 12 months a year and does not migrate.
It is a late nester, usually waiting for thistledown to use in nest construction so the young are noisy and conspicuous in August and September.
In Quebec, the bird is called a “chardonerret” because of its association with “chardon” (thistle).
Males are brilliant yellow in summer but dull olive in winter so that they resemble females.
Goldfinches are common and widespread in orchards, hedgerows, overgrown fields and suburban gardens.
They are almost always seen in flocks, feeding on tree buds, grass and weed seeds and some insects. I photographed them on this day feeding on chicory seeds.
This morning, I hiked to the banks of the East Don River from Wigmore Park near Sloane Ave. and Eglinton Ave East.
August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the harvest home is borne. – Sara Coleridge (1802–52)