The goldfinch is one of the brightest, most colourful birds that frequent the gardens and bird feeders around Walden. ‘Finch’s’ are seen throughout the summer in the northeast.
These miniature birds are yellow with black markings (almost like a small yellow oriole). Sometimes they are green and look as if they are wet even though they are not.
They travel in packs and will most often be seen flocking a feeder together in numbers of four or five at a time.
If there is safety in numbers, there is also beauty in numbers, as a group of goldfinches together will radiate remarkable sharpness and vivid deep detail. These little birds tend to stick together because, in their world, there truly is safety in numbers.
If you are really fortunate, you may witness blue finches. The same small bird but blue. The blue finch is another wondrous sight to behold.
As far as flying, they are not the best. The birds go forth in 10-20 foot spurts and then drop a bit before pushing on again in what looks like an elevated struggle to travel further. The distance is covered in sections instead of a smooth sail like the red-winged blackbird or the soft glide of a grackle.
Personally and selfishly, these are one of the most delightful birds to watch. Their bright yellow colour is only made sharper by the black cardinal-like mask over their face, protecting their eyes from the sun that shines as bright as the Goldfinch itself.