Lights! Camera! Goldfinch!

Judy shot this video today of a goldfinch eating seeds on the Cupplant (Silphium perfoliatum) in the front garden. Goldfinches love cupplant, and I love to watch them eat.

Though they can be messy. This one must drop at least three seeds for every one he swallows. I guess that works fine from the Cupplant’s point of view.

Do you have goldfinches in your garden? What is their favorite plant?

48 Comments on “Lights! Camera! Goldfinch!

  1. That is a great little video, I could have watched that for a lot longer.Our goldfinches are much smaller and brightly coloured, they love wildflower

  2. Delightful! Yes, I have a handful of goldfinches that visit regularly. They like the coneflowers and the sunflowers. They also visit the feeder for seeds. Fun to have around. Good weekend, Jason.

  3. Nice video, it worked out well! The goldfinches love the sunflowers of course, but also visit the Echinacea…. but their favorites are the bull thistles which I shamefully allow to go to seed just for them.

    • OK, I looked it up, and your goldfinch is in an entirely different genus. English goldfinches are Carduelis carduelis, but American goldfinches are Spinus tristus.

  4. The goldfinch in my yard love the seeds from spearmint and lemon balm (or is it verbena?) plus coneflower and sunflower and Canada thistle. I love watching them.So cheery!

  5. Lovely little bird! Our goldfinches migrate through in spring and fall, and they love sunflower seeds. This year, I tried to grow some for them, but I wasn’t very successful – If ours are as messy and wasteful as yours, they’ll be on the next garden pretty quickly.

  6. Lovely video. In my previous garden, we had goldfinch every day – they mostly ate the echinacea and the anise hyssop, of which I had a lot. The few sunflowers I tried growing this year didn’t do well. I hope to have anise hyssop next year.

  7. I have plant goldfinch love – beetroot! Just about everyday they come to eat a bit of the beetroot green. The leaves are full of holes but I don’t mind. In my old garden their favorite food was the seed of rudbeckia triloba.

  8. Look at him go! What a fantastic video Judy captured of him! Such a busy and hungry little fella! Happy weekend to you and Judy Jason! Nicole

  9. Awww, cute! The Golfinches here seem to like to nyjer and Sunflower seeds at the feeders. And they hang out in the garden on the Echinaceas and Rudbeckias. Lately, they and the Purple Finches have been hanging out in groups at the birdbath–so fun to watch.

    • They do come to the feeders if you put out what they like, though I was dismayed to find that house sparrows also like to eat nyjer.

  10. I’ve been enjoying them in my yard this year. They’ve been partial to the zinnias and the giant thistle I’ve let grow. To see them visiting is worth putting up with the wild thistle.

    • They do love thistle, but I always pull up thistle seedlings when I see them. I guess I don’t love the goldfinches quite enough to let thistles settle in.

      • No, I don’t usually let the thistle grow either. This one just got by my, which is pretty impressive considering it’s about 6 ft tall.

  11. I have three different silphiums in my garden, but the goldfinches definitely favor the perfoliatum. Of course there are many more of them, being the rampant self-seeders they are.

    • So far I have been able to keep the Cupplants from becoming completely rampant. I like some of the other Silphium but I’m afraid that, given the space available, we can only have a one Silphium garden.

  12. Love goldfinch very much Jason!
    In my childhood I had this one all winter in my home, he was singing prettily. When spring came I let him freedom.

  13. We dont’ have Goldfinches in the summer. We only get them in late winter here. I didn’t know they love cup plant. I bet other finches do too. We have a lot of House Finches here in summer. So cute. I watched one bounce from one tree trunk to the other the other day. Thanks for the video.~~Dee

    • You’re welcome! We also have a few house finches around here. Strangely, I don’t see the other finches feeding on the Cupplant seeds.

  14. Hello Jason, we’re struggling to attract birds into the garden at the moment, there’s not much available for them. We’ve set up feeders but they must come under stealth as although we can’t see them, I can see the food has been nibbled. I’m increasing the temptation by having a stand of sunflowers go to seed. The huge flower heads filled with juicy fat seed should attract something!

  15. I am just loaded with goldfinches out here on the prairie, much much more so than in past years. Niger seed? I used to put it out but they much prefer to browse the prairie. My situation here might be a bit unique — I am a 10 acre island in the middle of a “desert” of corn and soybeans. They also love the thistle that grows along the road and fencelines.

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