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American goldfinch        Images © Mark A. Chappell

The most brightly colored of the goldfinches in the western US is the American goldfinch (although my personal favorite is the somewhat more subtle Lawrence's goldfinch).  Eastern males can be even more intensely yellow than populations west of the Rockies; in the west, lesser goldfinches are much more common. .  The eastern birds were in Manhattan, Kansas (many feeding on thistle seeds, a favorite food); the somewhat less colorful western birds were near Riverside, California and the nearby San Jacinto Wildlife Area.

  • Canon 1D Mk. II or 1D4, 500 mm f4 IS lens plus 2X converter or 800 mm IS lens plus 1.4X converter, fill-in flash (2005, 2010, 2012)