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Goldfinches in Glendale, CA

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Taken 11-18-2020 in Glendale, CA (backyard).

For the past month or more I've had a lot of Lesser Goldfinches at my feeders.  But one day last week I think I photographed an American Goldfinch -- maybe two.

The 1st photo is of the bird that I think is an American Goldfinch -- first time I've seen one.  I'd like confirmation please.

The 2nd and 3rd photos are of a pale colored bird that was seen at the same time, and I think these 2 photos are of as single bird.  I'm not really sure what this bird is, but wondering if it is also an American Goldfinch.

The 4th photo is the 1st bird next to what I believe is the bird from the 2nd and 3rd photos.

The 5th photo is a Lesser Goldfinch that was taken about the same time and place -- for comparison.

And the 6th photo, at the feeder, has a pale bird that I think is similar to the one in photos 2 and 3.

All these photos were taken within 10 minutes of each other.








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The first photo and the bird that is at the right edge of the fourth photo are American Goldfinches.

All others are Lesser.

Congrats on the new bird! California is a great place for Goldfinches. I see all 4 spinus species on a regular basis in Alameda county. 

Edited by AlexHenry
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I agree with AlexHenry and BirdNrd. The AMGO looks like a nonbreeding male and the LEGOs in question are female. 

For me, the easiest way to differentiate the two when it comes to females and nonbreeding is the wingbars. American goldfinches have two thick, bold buffy wingbars, while Lessers have less distinct greyish-white wingbars. Nonbreeding Americans are brownish in color with more yellow on their heads, while female Lessers are much duller, with greenish backs and greyish undersides.

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21 minutes ago, AlexHenry said:

I see all 4 spinus species on a regular basis in Alameda county. 

You mean all 4 spinus sp. expected in CA. 😉

The genus spinus formerly included only birds in North and Central America, and one old world species of siskin. In a 2015 (I think) SACC proposal, the South American siskins and two old world spinus sp. were included in the genus. It would be awesome to get another member here in the Bay Area!

Edited by DLecy
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