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Panama Birds Program next Thursday 

August 21, 2010
By Garry Brandenburg

The AMERICAN GOLDFINCH (Carduelis tristis) is a common sight for local area folks. The bright yellow and black plumage of male goldfinches is a distinctive identification clue. It is the state bird of Iowa, New Jersey and Washington. Goldfinches are the only finch that molts its body feathers twice a year, once in late winter and again in late summer. Breeding time for this brightly colored bird is late summer, much later than most other birds. Milkweed seeds and thistle seeds have a long white parachute like fluff for wind dispersal and it is this trait that goldfinches like to use as nest lining material. The seeds of these plants are also used to feed the young. Seeds from composite plants of the aster family, sunflowers, grasses and tree seeds from alder, birch, western red cedar and elm are also utilized.



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