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American Goldfinch Nest

Like the majority of songbirds, American goldfinches use their nest only once —  to raise one brood — and do not return to it after their young have fledged.  This time of year, when leaves have fallen off of shrubs and trees, is a great time to try and locate where birds you saw all summer nested.  Just as each species of bird has its own song, each species of bird builds a nest unlike those of other species.  By noting the habitat in which it’s built, the material with which it was built, and the dimensions of a nest, it is often possible to determine the species of bird that constructed it.  Female American goldfinches build a very neat nest composed of plant fibers, and line it with the down of cattails or thistles. The walls are quite thick, making  it quite durable – the nest in the photograph even withstood the wind and rain that Irene delivered this fall.  While it’s fun to hunt for nests, bear in mind that you need a federal permit to collect them.



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