Anatomy: The goldfinch is from 4 1/2 to 5 inches (11-14 cm) long. Males are bright yellow with a black forehead, a white rump, and the wings and tail are black with white edges. Male coloration in the winter is duller. Females are camouflaged with duller colors; they are gray with black wings, white wing bars, and a notched tail. The bill is stubby.
Diet: Goldfinches mostly eat seeds (insects are also eaten).
Nest and Eggs: The goldfinch nests in a small tree or shrub; nests are located on a fork in a branch. Nests are open cups made from grass, bark strips, and other plant material. Nesting starts in middle to late summer (when seeds are readily available). Females lay 4-5 pale blue eggs in each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time). The incubation period is 10 to 12 days.
Classification: Kingdom Animalia (animals), phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves (birds), order Passeriformes, family Fringillidae, genus Carduelis, species C. tristis.
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