[Tweeters] Am. Goldfinch diet

L Markoff canyoneaglej at gmail.com
Thu May 21 05:30:04 PDT 2015

Hi Tweeters,

I have seen American Goldfinches eat dandelion leaves in my Vienna,
Virginia, yard, and Lesser Goldfinches eat Cutleaf Daisy (Engelmannia
peristenia), leaves in my Austin, TX, yard.​ They seem to enjoy "salad"
and other items on occasion. Here's a snippet from BNA (Birds of North

"In spring, consumes buds and strips bark from terminal shoots, presumably
in search of specific nutrients (ALAM). Known to consume other items as
varied as green algae (*Spirogyra porticalis*; Dorsey 1963
Kilham 1980
and maple sap (Muzny 1982

Lori Markoff
Eugene, OR
canyoneagle at comcast.net

On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 1:14 AM, Sammy Catiis <hikersammy at msn.com> wrote:

> I have seen this behavior a few times in Finches.. and I wonder if they

> are getting liquid from the plants. One time they were simply crimping

> each blade of grass, I have photos of this somewhere.. . Maybe it's a

> stomach aid similar to why cats and dogs eat grass too.. hmmm.. things

> to ponder.


> Sammy

> Arlington


> ------------------------------

> Date: Thu, 21 May 2015 00:45:04 -0700

> From: gjpluth at gmail.com

> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu

> Subject: [Tweeters] Am. Goldfinch diet


> For a number of weeks now, a (mated?) pair of Goldfinches has been

> frequenting the sunflower feeder hanging in my small apple tree. Today the

> male perched on a branch near the female on the feeder. >From my kitchen

> window 20' away I watched as he reached out to pull off a small bit leaf

> tip, "chew," then swallow; snip, chew, swallow; snip, chew, swallow. Lasted

> about 20 seconds until they both bolted for the maple across the yard.


> In my short research, including John K. Terres who provides much diet info

> per species, I found no mention of Am. Goldfinch eating leafy things -

> plenty of seeds and some berries, and even an insect or two, but not leafy

> things. How long-ong, has this been goin' on? Are more autopsies

> necessary?


> Anyone?




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