Monday, June 20, 2011

The Goldfinch Mystery, The Thief, and the Picture of the Day

The Goldfinch Mystery

Last week I was sitting on the window bench in the kitchen, sipping my coffee and gazing at the freshly planted flowers in the garden. It had just rained, so everything was bright and fresh and dewy. So pretty. As I was sitting there, a goldfinch came along and landed on the little shepherd's hook in the garden. His bright yellow feathers were gorgeous in the murky morning light. But it was what was on his ankle that caught my attention. A little metal band. How did he get it (on birdhouse arrest? Ha!), why did someone band him? Who did it? I did a quick internet search for banding projects in the area but didn't find anything. Very mysterious...

The Thief

In that same garden is our one and only blueberry bush. Freshly planted. And not long after we put it in, the blueberries started ripening. We were so excited! Fresh blueberries. Not many, but enough. Then, we noticed that as the blueberries just started turning that purplish red that they started disappearing. Every time. Haven't had a blueberry since. We've never actually seen the thief, but we suspect that one our feathered friends is the culprit as he likes to leave behind a clue in the form of his purple-colored calling card on the driveway (better there than on my head while I'm working outside). Scoundrel.

The Picture of the Day

With all that fluffage, I can't tell if this is our mysterious friend...

Goldfinch - taken by Mr. W
He's so pretty (handsome)! But a messy eater--do you see the thistle on his beak? Sloppy!


  1. I love the goldfinch's coloring.

    I wonder if the Goldfinch is part of a zoo program or something.

    Have a good week.

  2. The male goldfinches (like the one in the picture) are really stunning. The females have more green but are still cute. Why is it the males get all the great plumage? So not fair!

    Could be a zoo program...wish I knew!

  3. Hi Heather,

    Birds are funny eaters. I have four parakeets, and they are forever getting seed husks stuck to their beaks. They clean their beaks by rubbing their faces against twigs and branches.

    Also, they chew with their mouths open. No table manners at all. : )

  4. Last year I had between 1 - 2 dozen American Goldfinches (like in your pic) & several dozen Lesser Goldfinches. But this year (probably because of the odd weather patterns) I had only about a ½ doz Americans (who have now left) & a couple doz Lessers. I do have dozens of red House Sparrows & 6-8 Redwinged Blackbirds. But I have fewer Robins, Grosbeaks, Hummingbirds & Mockingbirds this year (& no Brewers Blackbirds or Brownheaded Cowbirds, who were pleantiful last year). Earlier in the year, I had some Juncos & White Capped Sparrows who have now migrated. Most days I have around 20 Mourning Doves but have had up to 40 when the young ones come calling. No matter who shows up, I LOVE sitting out mornings and evening and visiting with my feathered friends!

  5. LOL, Melody! We love watching the chickadees eat seeds held in their feet. :)

    Lynda, our birds have stayed about the same. The blue jays and redwing blackbirds are getting more plentiful (used to be rare to see them). We've got a ton of mourning doves, too--they're fun to watch bob around. Only a couple of hummingbirds this year so far. Hopefully more will come. Absolutely love watching them all, too!