American Goldfinch Nest
Spinus tristis

f5.6 @ 1/1600s, ISO:1000, Nikon D80 w 17-55mm @ 26mm


"American Goldfinch," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The American goldfinch begins its breeding season later in the year than any other finch and later than any other native North American bird, besides occasionally the sedge wren. This may be related to the abundance of seeds in the late summer months, as seeds represent the majority of their diet. The nest is built in late summer by the female in the branches of a deciduous shrub or tree at a height of up to 10 m (33 ft). The nest-building lasts approximately six days, during which time the female works in 1040 minute increments. The male frequently flies with the female as she collects nesting materials, and though he may carry some materials back to the nest, he leaves its construction to the female. The outer shell of the nest is built of bark, weeds, vines, and grass. The inside diameter of the finished nest is about 6.5 cm (2.6 in). The rim is reinforced with bark bound by spiderwebs and caterpillar silk, and the cup is lined with plant down from milkweed, thistle, or cattail. The nest is so tightly woven that it can hold water, and it is possible for nestlings to drown following a rainstorm if the parents do not cover the nest.
Pocasset, Massachusetts
 
08/14/2008