Gold Finches - Where did they go?

greengardener07June 25, 2007

Hi all,

I have a couple of feeders and some plants that really bring in the gold finches, but in the past month, my wife and I have not seen one. I am curious as to what happened.

Are they migratory? Or is this the doing of a predator?

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Kathy46(Z6 Pa)

We have had a lot of goldfinch activity for us. They usually head north by now but they are still at the feeder.I wonder if having the mild temps this June kept them around longer ??I agree they are migratory through my area.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 1:43PM
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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

Goldfinches are present in PA year round. There are some individuals who migrate here from farthr north to spend the winter, probably some that breed here and go farther south for the winter, and some that move through in spring and fall, but they are common in PA throughout the year. However, in summer they move to habitat that is appropriate for breeding, which is brushy areas, weedy field edges, open areas along creeks or rivers, and similar places. Also in summer, flocks break up and the birds form pairs that tend to stay near the nest until the young are grown. Mostly they breed in rural areas, or sometimes suburbs with lots of open space. In fall, winter, and spring they will venture into developed areas where there are feeders, but even in winter they are still more common at rural feeders. I suspect that your local Goldfinches have moved out into the countryside to breed. After the last of the young are out of the nest, they'll start wandering about looking for good places to feed, and will again be likely to return to your yard.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 3:00PM
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We have quite a few-------We feed them all year.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 4:03PM
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The goldfinches have been visiting my garden already they have been eating the bachelor buttons they also love my zinnias and sunflowers they have a bad habit of pulling the zinna petals off before the seeds are even ready little stinkers but I just love hearing them chittering.I also found the hummingbird has a regular visiting time every evening. This year it came earlier it's favorite flower before the bee balm bloomed of all things larkspur. Patty

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 9:10PM
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rsmallen(z6 PA)

Put out a little birdbath/saucer of water near your feeder. I have a terracotta one that has chains to hang it and a shepherds hook under my trees in the perennial bed. No other feeders though...I seldom feed in the summer because my garden is designed to feed the birds and food for them is plentiful in it. The Goldfinches LOVE to cling to the chain and dip their little beaks into the water to drink!

Also, sometimes when natural food is quite plentiful, or during brooding season you see reduced populations at feeders.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 7:24AM
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HerbLady49(Z6 PA)

I have an area where I let many of my flowers go to seed. Right now it's Coreopsis "Double Sunburst". There are so many Gold Finches that I can't tell which are my flowers or which are the Finches because they blend in amoung the yellow flowers.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 8:50AM
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This year I also been wondering where my finches went to.
I have feeders out,put in fresh seed and still none. Now since it is hot I could understand why but they been gone a long time. I do have my hummers tho'

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 4:23PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

I believe that Goldfinches are the last bird to breed in our area. They are just getting started in mid summer and seem to disappear. As ladyslppr said, they don't really leave, they are just busy. I still see one occasionally at the boss feeder. What a beautiful sight in the summer.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 4:26PM
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I've seen them picking at my Tithonia rotundifolia, anxious for the yet un-developed seeds!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 4:37PM
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westhighlandblue(z6 PA)

One lone fellow was chowing down on my Echinacea, the other day. That's the first time I've ever seen my native plants put to truly good use!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 2:22PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

The last week I have had a pair visiting regularly. Much more than before. I guess their chicks have fledged.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 1:15PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I have a few that stop by every morning. I let some thistle go to seed along the woods and although I will regret it next year as I pick seedlings out of the lawn right now the goldfinches are very happy.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 10:42PM
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