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Lawrence's goldfinch        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Lawrence's goldfinch has the smallest range of the three North American goldfinch species and is a California specialty (although it winters in Arizona and occurs locally and sporadically in nearby states).   The best field mark in adults is the striking gold-and-black wings, which appear (in males) as two distinct thick yellow wingbars at the height of breeding and a more diffuse yellow patch at other times.   Other field marks are the overall gray plumage, along with the yellow breast spot and neat black face in males.   One of the males in the lower images was singing from a flowering tree at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, another was nesting near Big Morongo Reserve, and the rest were in a park in Riverside.

  • Canon 10D, 1D4, or 7D2; 500 mm f4 IS lens plus 1.4X or 2X converter or 800 mm IS lens plus 1.4X converter, fill-in flash (2004, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017)