snick

American or Lesser Goldfinch?

8 posts in this topic

I was helping my mom create her first lifelist, mostly from photos, and she was using this as her photo of an American Goldfinch. I think it's a male Lesser, but I'd be happy to be proven wrong for her. :)

t3xfYtw.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That black on the forehead makes it a Lesser :) Tell your mom I'm sorry!

BP; Does that mean this is a Lesser?

AmericanGoldfinchmale2-1.jpg

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That black on the forehead makes it a Lesser :) Tell your mom I'm sorry!

BP; Does that mean this is a Lesser?

AmericanGoldfinchmale2-1.jpg

Nope, I was a little unclear there haha. The black on the forehead, coupled with the rest of the plumage (dull, non-breeding body, yellow throat and dull bill) makes it a Lesser. A black forehead alone is not diagnostic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. In my heart I knew it was a lesser, but I wanted someone to tell me otherwise. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would have made it easier to ID if more of it was showing in the photo, esp. its back, snick. The back of a Lesser is always dark compared to an American, which will have a yellow back. (This is comparing the males as shown)

There is enough to ID it as a Lesser, however. Yours has a dark stout beak...an American Goldfinch has a pinkish or yellow bill that isn't as stout. Also, a Lesser has a black "cap" covering its head, whereas an American has the black forehead as in the photo BigOly posted above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

another diagnostic feature is the very white undertail coverts of the AG. Hard to see in the OP's pic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, a Lesser has a black "cap" covering its head, whereas an American has the black forehead as in the photo BigOly posted above.

Yes, which is what jumped out immediately at me for the ID here, and I'm sure what TBP was alluding to as well. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now