American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis), June 27, 2009, Jackson Marsh, Washington County, WI.

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

I’ve searched the archives at Xeno-Canto and Macaulay Library but I haven’t been able to find another recording of this particular vocalization. Superficially it is similar to the well-know “potato-chip” flight call, but the speed of delivery is faster, the notes are ascending, and there are more than 4 notes per series. Unfortunately I do not know the sex of the bird vocalizing. I observed a pair of goldfinches fly into an area of dense shrubbery and this is the sound that came forth. I didn’t have a visual of the bird while I was recording. Given that, I cannot be 100% certain that this is actually an American Goldfinch, but considering the overall quality of the vocalization, the location, season, and circumstance, I believe it is a fair call.

2 Responses to “American Goldfinch”

  1. This is a fascinating vocalization. Assuming it was an adult male/female pair you saw disappear into the bush, I’d guess these notes accompany mating. They are quite similar to the notes I’ve recorded from Lesser Goldfinches right before and during copulation.

    However, another good guess is that the birds had a nest in that bush and you recorded the begging calls of nestlings excited to be fed. Either way, this is a really interesting recording. Thanks for the post, and keep them coming!

  2. Todd Wilson says:

    Interesting theories Nathan! Neither of these occurred to me at the time, but looking back at the circumstance they both sound entirely plausible. By the way, I would love to hear those Lesser Goldfinch recordings sometime.