Tag Archives: Lesser Goldfinch

New friends stopping by…

The carpenter who was hanging doors today brought his nine-year-old son August along with him, with my permission, with the idea that he would stay near his father upstairs. The dad didn’t mind that I set August up by the fire instead, to eat his lunch; I really like the dad and I was glad to meet one of his children, and to make him comfortable. He liked to chat.

Lesser Goldfinch in winter

I got a break from that socializing when they had to go briefly to another job, and I ran some errands having to do with the remodeling and the Christmas celebrations upcoming. When I got back August was glad to see me. He asked whether I had pets, and started advising me that I needed a cockatiel to talk to. I explained about my love for watching the wild birds, and as we looked out at the garden I told him that contrary to present appearances, the birds often came by the dozens, most recently goldfinches. He said, “Look, there’s a hummingbird… it’s a small one.” And suddenly, a flock of birds surprised him by arriving all at once at the seed feeder, and we began to study them.

The yellow-headed birds did not look like goldfinches. I stumbled over boxes of Christmas decorations and faucets to pull the Peterson’s Guide off the shelf, and paged through the colored plates with August looking on, and we determined that this bird is a Townsend’s Warbler. How convenient it was, a few minutes later, when a Lesser Goldfinch, one of those birds I’ve been seeing for years, joined a warbler on the feeder so we could compare them side by side. Of course, the warbler is larger, and different in many ways.

Townsend’s Warbler

August really wanted me to take a picture of the birds, but I explained that I never can get good pictures through the window, and if I open the door, they all fly away. So I am posting here two pictures I found online.

I am pretty pleased at the double gift, a boy and a new bird sighting, all in one day. Thank You, Lord! Now I must get back to my cookie-baking…

little goldfinch

This morning a goldfinch flew with a thud into the glass of the sliding door, and lay still on the patio with one wing splayed out. I waited for her to recover herself and fly off, worried that a cat would wander through while she was vulnerable. IMG_2964When she didn’t move, I went out and talked to her, to ask if her wing was broken. Should I touch my wounded bird friend? It was the natural thing to do, to stroke her small body. After a while I tried tucking the wonky wing back in place, and it seemed to line right up with the other one. The bird was looking a little more alert after fifteen minutes or so, but when I tried to lift her on to her feet she stumbled.


I texted my friend Mrs. Bread, who I guessed had experience with wild animals like this – and also daughter Pippin, whose first animal-related job was working for the bird rescue center. Mrs. Bread said I should fix up a shoebox with soft materials and put the victim in it; that would help her to calm down.

So I prepared a box with a towel and some fine rice straw from my bale of mulch, and carefully set the finch in it, and on the patio table temporarily, while I went inside for a minute. From the window I saw that right away she hopped on to the edge of the box, and when I took my eyes off her to go back out the door, she had vanished. My box worked like magic!


This is the last picture I took, before I prepared the box. I am amazed at the details of her feathers, which I didn’t take in when I was with the real bird. I hope she is okay, and that she will be back taking a bath at the fountain tomorrow!