A male American Goldfinch faces the sun above a field, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

An immature American Goldfinch drops a shell while working for food, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

A male American Goldfinch perches on a stem in Slate Run Metro Park, Canal Winchester, Ohio.

A male American Goldfinch perches atop a plant stem in Prairie Oaks Metro Park, West Jefferson, Ohio.

A male American Goldfinch perches among thistle buds, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

Male American Goldfinch perched on sunflower remains, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

An immature American Goldfinch perches on a stem in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

A female American Goldfinch looks toward the morning sun, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

A male American Goldfinch perches on a plant stem, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

A male American Golfinch dines on thistle, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

An American Goldfinch in non-breeding plumage perches in a field, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

A male American Goldfinch perches among yellow flowers, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

A female American Goldfinch blends with its yellow background in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

A male American Goldfinch perches on top of a plant in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

An American Goldfinch in winter plumage perches on an icy limb in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

An immature American Goldfinch dines on thistle in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

An American Goldfinch in fall plumage contorts its body while hanging from a plant, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

An American Goldfinch in non-breeding plumage eats seeds, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

A male American Goldfinch dines on thistle, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

A male American Goldfinch perches among leaves, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

06.21/Goldfinch

In late summer and fall the fields in local parks turn yellow. Goldenrod blooms, joining yellow flowers like Maximilian sunflowers, black-eyed susans and daisies, to form a blanket of yellow. 

Often hidden in this blanket are hundreds of American Goldfinch. The birds breed in late summer, much later than other birds, when yellow flowers in the fields help camouflage their presence.

The males have bright yellow breeding plumage during summer months but all goldfinch shift to more of a tan color during fall.

Although the goldfinch are plentiful in the area during summer and fall, they are still difficult to photograph. The birds blend with colors in the fields each season, which makes them difficult to see. And when one bird is startled and flies off, it’s joined by hundreds of others. So it takes quite a bit of patience to photograph goldfinch.

My featured gallery for June includes a variety of images of goldfinch. Most of these images were taken with a Canon EF 600mm f/4L lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. The combination provides an effective focal length of 840mm, enough to bring the birds up close without having to move close enough to send them flying.

Although the goldfinch are plentiful in the area during summer and fall, they are still difficult to photograph. The birds blend with colors in the fields each season, which makes them difficult to see. 

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