American Goldfinch captured by Z 9 / 800f5.6AFS w/TC-1.25

For the last ten to fourteen days Sharon & I have seen flashes of yellow flash about The Ranch as the male Golden Finches start to change into their spring finery. While a very small bird, they sport a really big color that can’t be missed. In fact, the first male to turn yellow got nailed by the Sharpie so we’re not the only ones seeing the flash of color! Well, they aren’t the most photogenic as they shift especially their black caps so I’ve been very impatiently waiting until the black was pretty well filled in to photograph them. This male, though not totally in his spring tux, isn’t too bad-looking. He’s the first of the season I’ve photographed. Here’s the thing, last year we only saw one or two males total, they had just found The Ranch feeders and were pretty shy. We were hoping they would come back and in bigger numbers this year. We had them during the winter mixed in with our siskins and redpolls but they were in their winter drabs so we were never really sure how many goldfinches were mixed in. In the last week or so, with all the yellow darting about, we can see they have multiplied! At the moment, we’re up to nine males in (would be 10 but the Sharpie), and about the feeders. We’re really excited and delighted to see them! And I was really happy yesterday even in the snow flurries to get some in the viewfinder and make some clicks. It’s only going to get better, I can’t wait to see if any actually stay and nest!

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