Goldfinch, Western bird picturesWESTERN GOLDFINCH
530. Astragalinus psaltria. 4.25 inches
Cap, wings, and tail black; sides of head and back, greenish. Female much duller and with no black in the crown.
These little Goldfinches are very abundant throughout the West. Their flight is undulatory like that of the preceding, and all their habits are very similar.
They spend the winter in bands, roving about the country, feeding on weed seeds; in summer they repair, either in small bands or by single pairs, to the edges of swamps or woodland near water, where they construct their compact homes in the forks of bushes.
Their eggs are pale blue like those of the American Goldfinch, but of course are much smaller (.62 x .45).
They are laid in May or June, or even earlier in the western portions of their range.
Song. - Sweet and musical, almost like that of the last species.
Range. - Western United States from the Plains to the Pacific, being abundant west of the Rocky Mountains.