American Goldfinch in our Garden & Vintage Bird Guides

A couple of American goldfinch, a male and a female, came early yesterday morning to our new bird feeder. I have been wanting a bird feeder forever. We usually make our own, but this time I found one made of recycled materials for a very reasonable price. 

I noticed these pretty yellow birds and quickly grabbed my camera. I was only able to take one photo before they flew off, and this is the one. I hope they visit again! 

I find it interesting to look up more information about birds and plants I see, especially in the Handbook of Nature Study. I often share little bits of this information with Celeste. I like the descriptions in the book, here is one about the goldfinch:  

"In summer, the male has bright yellow plumage with a little black cap "pulled down over his nose" like that of a grenadier. He also has a black tail and wings with white-tipped coverts and primaries....In winter the male dons a dress more like that of his mate; he loses his black cap but keeps his black wings and tail." Handbook of Nature Study, page 55. 

From Audubon's Birds of America

At the Guardian book sale last week, I found Audubon's Birds of America, a 1950 edition. I picked it up for Celeste because she loved reading A Nest for Celeste. Audubon, his apprentice in particular, is featured in the story. She appreciated my find very much. 

I also found two small bird guides, The Blue Book of Birds of America and The Green Book. It has a copyright of 1931. The illustrations are vintage looking and I really like that! 

One can never have too many nature guides, right?! 


  1. What great finds! The goldfinches were the first to find my feeder as well when I put it up last winter. It actually took a little while to figure out what they were, though, because it was hard to detect any yellow at all.

  2. I agree - you can never have too many nature guides! I actually think they are better than the computer for identifying things we've seen on a nature walk - it's easier to flip through and look for what you've seen, rather than try to do a google search for something you can't name.

    We have that same Audubon book (50s edition) out from the library right now. Isn't it lovely?

    By the way, am I mistaken or are you the same Alex who used to live in Essex County, Ontario? And post on the Family Village forum? If so, I used to read your old blog...I found this one through the latest Handbook of Nature Study newsletter. I will be following from now on! :)


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