Posts Tagged ‘goldfinches’

Spring Sunshine

I position my chair in the sunlight streaming through the front window,
the rest of the house behind me
chill in its winter-to-spring transition.

The heat soaks into my grey fleece top
gradually seeping its welcome way through my skin,
into my bones and the center of my body.

Bushes bow slightly before the wind,
waiting to shed their winter bareness for the new growth of spring,
each bare, brown sword-branch tipped with green.

On the porch, a chipmunk overlooks the buttery daffodils and fragile narcissus
ever so slowly raising their rain-battered heads
from soaked obeisance into erect beauty.

Two goldfinches swoop down, perching in the largest bush,
tiny bird-lanterns heralding the start of another Saturday
as a cloud ship moves regally through the sky ocean.


© janet m. webb

The meadows of my park walk are the warm weather home to goldfinches, beautiful birds characterized by their mini-roller coaster flight patterns.  There are certain areas where I can be generally certain of spotting them.  I’ll glimpse the undulating flight of a small dot of gold and there one is. Often more than several fly together above the grasses and flowers, looking for seeds or perhaps just enjoying the flight.  However, the amount of sightings is inversely proportional to the ease of capturing one of the little beauties on camera!

Goldfinch copyright janet m. webb 2015

The first problem is that the iPhone, wonderful though it is, will never work for these shots. A phone of any type won’t zoom in nearly enough, nor can a distant photo of one be successfully enlarged.  Secondly, goldfinches are either quite shy or very wary or both.  They don’t sit long and once I stop, they’re usually on the wing almost immediately.  Of course, in the nature of these things, the two times my husband and I have gone biking around the little lake near our house and I haven’t taken my phone, the cheeky blighters have mocked me by getting quite close!

Goldfinch copyright janet m. webb 2015

Female goldfinch

By taking my Nikon out periodically on walks, I’ve managed to snap a few decent shots of these stunning birds.  But for every shot that turned out, I’ve consigned twice as many to the trash bin.  As with many birds, the male has the brighter color, vivid yellow in summer, while the female sports a dull yellow brown during the same time.   Both may be aggressive through the short breeding season, but are gregarious the rest of the time. Goldfinches use their feet to cling to plants while their specially designed beaks remove seeds.  They also enjoy eating at feeders.  Meadows and grasslands are their homes, so deforestation actually helps them.  They’re found year-round in much of the United States.

Goldfinches copyright janet m. webb 2015

Here’s what a goldfinch in flight looked like when I tried to follow it with my camera.

Goldfinch in flight copyright janet m. aebb 2015