American Goldfinch’s Storage Solution
When not consuming niger and sunflower seeds at feeders, American Goldfinches forage for seeds in the catkins and cones of trees, as well as from grasses and many “weeds.” As an adaptation for cold winter nights when additional fuel may be necessary, and for feeding young, the esophagus of goldfinches is very flexible and forms a rudimentary crop, or pocket, in which seeds may be temporarily stored. In addition to some birds, honeybees, snails, slugs, earthworms and leeches possess crops.
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