A Bird That Sheds

By Joe Murgo

Published 12/18 2013 05:24PM

Updated 03/07 2014 04:31PM

Spotted by Jim Johnson
Spotted by Jim Johnson

The American Goldfinch may be the state bird for New Jersey, Iowa and Washington, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make an appearance in Pennsylvania and other states across the nation. In fact, the American Goldfinch range covers every state except Alaska and Hawaii. If you spot this bird in the spring, males are a bright yellow and shiny black color with a bit of white. But in the winter, the birds appear duller in color (as it shows in the picture). American Goldfinches are the only finch to molt feathers twice a year.

You can find this bird in Pennsylvania year-round. They feed on plants that produce seeds, including sunflowers, thistles, grey birches and dandelions, and frequent feeders during the winter months. Have you spotted American Goldfinches or other birds spending winter in Pennsylvania? Take photos and upload them to the Eyes on Central PA Mission on Project Noah!

Are you a bird enthusiast? If so, participate in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count!

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