An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

American Goldfinch’s Storage Solution

1-19-17-a-goldfinch-045When 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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8 responses

  1. This is a GORGEOUS picture, and yet another informative article!

    January 17, 2017 at 8:51 am

  2. don mccabe

    Mary,

    I have seen chickadees and goldfinches flying up to the overhang edge of my porch’s galvanized roof appearing to be stuffing uneaten sunflower seeds under the roof for storage. Is this a typical behavior for these birds so they can retrieve the seeds later?

    Don

    >

    January 17, 2017 at 9:28 am

    • Hi Don, Yes, chickadees and nuthatches regularly store seeds, but I haven’t observed goldfinches doing so. Very interesting!

      January 17, 2017 at 6:46 pm

  3. Alice Pratt

    Birds are so hardy, to get thru our often harsh winters. Nice to be able to store seed for a midnight snack.

    January 17, 2017 at 9:32 am

  4. Jane Marshall

    Love the photo of the Gold Finch. It looks so alive! Thanks for sharing.

    January 17, 2017 at 10:12 am

  5. Kathie Fiveash

    Thank goodness I don’t have a crop! I’d be such a fatty.

    January 17, 2017 at 1:39 pm

  6. Pat

    That’s a very sweet photo of a bird that hogs the feeders. Now I know why! They must be filling their crop.

    January 17, 2017 at 4:01 pm

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