Thursday, April 10, 2008

Changes of Spring

Wow are the goldfinches changing fast this spring!
How can this happen that in just a few days, a male American goldfinch can go from this (above) to the buttery yellow, full-breeding plumage in the final image below?

Starting to get a few light-yellow patches.

Becoming more yellow than drab green.


And, finally, the full canary suit of yellow, black, and white. I know these photos are not of the same bird. And this last image is from last spring—I have seen a full yellow male (just yesterday in fact) this spring, but have not photographed one yet.

What a stunning spring transformation! It's not surprising that some non-birding folks wonder each winter where all their goldfinches have gone. "I HAD goldfinches (I call 'em my wild canaries!) up until about September. Now all I've got are these drab green sparrows! And they're eating up all the goldfinches' food!"

Just got word from the home front that a barn swallow (the first of spring) flew over the yard, calling. Time to start putting out the eggshells that they love so well.

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