In Georgia, the American goldfinch is one of the last birds to nest. In fact, most of these colorful birds don’t even begin nesting until late June. However, most nesting occurs during July and August. Remarkably, some American goldfinch nests remain active into September.
In spite of the fact they prefer to nest in habitats featuring small trees and shrubs, they will also nest in our backyards. If you are fortunate enough to have a pair of American goldfinches nest in your yard, you are in for a real treat!
It seems the female is charged with the with the duty of incubating the eggs. During these 12-14 days, she will spend upwards to 95 percent of her time perched atop her fragile eggs.
As you might imagine, this leaves little time for to feed. In spite of this, the dedicated female never goes without food.
The reason for this is every hour or so throughout the day her mate will circle the nest. If the female is hungry, she will softly call to him. Upon hearing the call, he quickly drops down from the sky and lands near the hidden nest. Once he lands the female will leave the nest and land nearby. He then quickly feeds her a nutritious meal of partially digested seeds. After eating, the male flies away and the female returns to her nest.
If you suspect American goldfinches are nesting in your yard, be on the lookout for a male repeatedly flying in circles over a small tree or shrub. If your suspicions prove to be correct, you will have the wonderful opportunity of witnessing this rarely seen behavior on regular basis.