The Lesser Goldfinch is a year-round resident here in southern Arizona, and on these warm summer days my palo verde tree is alive with flashes of gold as the finches compete for a place at my thistle feeders. These are very small birds with a very particular appetite for Niger thistle seed, which I buy at my local feed store in 50 pound bags. They’re little, but they’re ravenous.
My thistle feeders are designed with the seed ports beneath the perches, which means that the birds have to hang upside down to feed. The Lesser Goldfinch has well-developed grasping feet and is as comfortable hanging upside down as right side up.
There is something joyous in the sight of these little birds hanging upside down, their bellies glowing.
I’ve written about goldfinches once before in a post I called Feeding the birds.