[CT Birds] Goldfinch behavior -

Carrier Graphics carriergraphics at sbcglobal.net
Sat Sep 1 15:10:19 EDT 2007

Dear Robert - 

I also have been seeing Goldfinches doing unusual things as well -

since spring, I have noticed Goldfinches eating from the top of leaves of Swisschard in my garden.
They only eat the green leaf mater from between the veins though, making it look for the longest
time as if it was insects doing the deed.

They have now just switched to the nearby Beet tops! I know that Goldfinches are one bird that
eats most primarily vegetable food year round. 

Paul Carrier


Message: 3
Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2007 08:52:10 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Robert J. Bitondi" <rjbitondi at sbcglobal.net>
Subject: [CT Birds] Birds and Algae
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Message-ID: <374086.41389.qm at web82209.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

I've observed an interesting behavior among the birds in my yard and wonder whether others have
 seen it.

Back in late spring I noticed American goldfinches pulling string algae from the stream beds of my
 water garden and wondered whether they were using it for nesting material.  Since mid-summer I've
 had to pull this algae out of the water daily (it gets pretty disgusting) and when I'm lazy about
 it I just throw it on the lawn.  The goldfinches feed on this discarded algae in the grass, and
 lately they even seem to wait for me to toss it there.  Are they finding tiny insects in the
 or seeds of some kind?  Or do they eat the algae itself?
Other passerines use the goldfinches as a sentinel species for the pond area and approach when
 they see the goldfinches  there, so sometimes it's quite a gathering:  orioles, towhees,
 catbirds, several species of warblers and vireos.  But I've recently noticed that the goldfinches
 have interested other birds in the algae too:  this week I saw an American redstart and a young
 scarlet tanager joining the goldfinches in their algae feast. 

Has anyone seen this behavior? 

Bob Bitondi
Pomfret Center

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