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Golfinch and Thistle

Golfinch and Thistle
Photo Information
Copyright: Mario Belanger (EOSF1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-09-18
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400 F4-5.6 L IS USM, ISO 400, B+W 77 010 UV-Haze 1 x
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/1000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-10-14 4:00
Viewed: 2395
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
This one is for Bob Shannon 'eqshannon', an American Goldfinch (Carduellis tristis, 13 cm)in its natural environment: on Thistle ! :-)

From: www.birds.cornell.edu

A familiar and abundant small colorful bird, the American Goldfinch is frequently found in weedy fields and visiting feeders. It shows a particular fondness for thistles, eating the seeds and using the down to line its nest.


Small bird.
Bill small, pointed, conical, and pink.
Body bright yellow to dull brown.
Wings dark with large white wingbars.
Tail short and notched.
Breeding male bright yellow with black cap and wings.

Size: 11-13 cm (4-5 in)
Wingspan: 19-22 cm (7-9 in)
Weight: 11-20 g (0.39-0.71 ounces)
Sex Differences
Summer male is bright yellow with a black cap whereas female is drab olive. Sexes similar and drab in winter.

Song a long series of twittering and warbling notes. Common contact call a "tsee-tsi-tsi-tsit," often given in flight. May be described as "per-chic-o-ree" or "po-ta-to-chip."

Conservation Status
Abundant and widespread. Populations appear stable.

Other Names
Chardonneret jaune (French)
Dominiquito viajero, Dominiquito triste (Spanish)

Cool Facts

The American Goldfinch changes from winter plumage to breeding plumage by a complete molt of its body feathers. It is the only member of its family to have this second molt in the spring; all the other species have just one molt each year in the fall.

The American Goldfinch is one of the latest nesting birds. It usually does not start until late June or early July, when most other songbirds are finishing with breeding. The late timing may be related to the availability of suitable nesting materials and seeds for feeding young.

The American Goldfinch is gregarious throughout the year. In winter it is found almost exclusively in flocks. In the breeding season it feeds in small groups. Whether it maintains breeding territories is debatable.

The American Goldfinch is mostly monogamous, but a number of females switch mates after producing a first brood. The first male takes care of the fledglings while the female goes off to start another brood with a different male.

tiklod, Royaldevon, jaycee, CeltickRanger, eqshannon, pierrefonds, marieproue, nirmalroberts has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Salut Mario,
Je suis impressionnée par ta productivité ces temps-ci! Que de belles photos d'oiseaux tu nous présente. Je ne dois pas vivre dans la bonne région en ce moment, ils sont presque impossibles à photographier avec toutes ces feuilles dans les arbres. C'est une très belle capture de ce petit mignon. C'est une mâle qui change de couleur? Les détails sont sublimes ainsi que la composition et la belle lumière! Bravo encore!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-10-14 6:38]

Hello Mario,
Beautiful capture of an American Goldfinch female feasting on thistle seeds. Fine technical quality and I like the composition that includes the flowering part of the thistle, all against a busy but OOF natural BG.
Well done and TFS!

Salut Mario,
Ces chardonnerets sont assez facile à attirer à la mangeoire mais alors là CHAPEAU! C'est la première fois que J'ai l'occasion d'en voir un qui se nourrit dans la vrai nature! Les détails et les couleurs sont admirables.
BRAVO et merci,


Hi Mario
what a sharpness incredible, and just perfect dof! and great compo with lovely natural surroundings
really great

Hello Mario,

I am glad that I read the title because from the thumbnail, I thought this was merely a shot of a thistle!

What a great capture of this alert bird with seeds in its mouth! Excellent sharpness and lovely colours.

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2007-10-14 8:50]

Hi Mario,

A nice capture of this golfinch feeding on the thistle,nice composed with a natural OOF BG,tfs


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-10-14 13:38]

Hi Mario,

I love the combination of the Finch and the Thistle. Both are beautiful and the composition is exquisite. Your usual marvelous colors and superb details. Wonderful!


salut Mario

encore encore et encore que de belles photos que tu nous présente
et on en veux encore et encore d'autres belles photos d'oiseaux

superbe photo, belles luminosité, excellent netteté et détails
mais c'est surtout l'angle de vue en contre-plongé
et le cadrage en vertical que j'aime les plus de ta photo

TFS beaucoup


AHA! You were quite right in informing me of the Goldfinch and Thistle. There was a small voice inside me which told me to watch.....you would make your point, but I am surprised pleasantly that you made the point via an image you have taken. An American Goldfinch. I thank you for posting this. I thank you from my family who now live where all things go...sooner or later, but who in real life..and in my life, gave knowledge of these wonderful creatures. Vous êtes enseignant moi!

hello mario,
very nice capture, the goldfinch on the thistle looks great, well composed shot, liked the pov, colours and lighting,
well done,
tfs & regards

Bonjour Mario,

Une belle image du chardonneret jaune et de la fleur, la photo a une bonne composition, netteté et de jolies couleurs. Bonne journée.


Magnifique, superbes détails et très belle composition.

Mais il est minuscule cet oiseau ,ce chardon a l'air énorme!
Encore une bien jolie compo avec une bonne luminosité et un focus nickel.

Merci encore


Hi Mario,
You are really an expert on capturing birds. I like this picture because it narrates a story.
Sharp details and bright colours.
- Nirmal

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