All That Glitters…

… will soon be gold! Come May, the male American goldfinches now frequenting your feeders will shed their drab green-yellow wardrobe in exchange for bright gold and black feathers. It’s spring, and male birds need to woo their lady friends with handsome, eye-catching colors.

Now a drab gray, the female goldfinches will molt into a brighter — albeit less brilliant — gold for spring and summer.

A female goldfinch came into the care of VINS staff at the end of February. In the photo, you can just barely make out this little golden nugget held by a staff member for her weekly weigh-in.

The bird was initially found in a woman’s yard unable to fly, and we suspect the goldfinch flew into a window. We examined the bird and found a fracture in her swollen left wing.

As you can imagine, a goldfinch’s bones are very small and thin. To wrap a broken wing on such a bird, we wrap the injured wing to their body in a “body wrap.” That secures the bones and allows them to grow back together, and prevents us from handling the wing’s wee bones too much.

Less than a month later, this little bird is flying like a champ in our outdoor songbird aviary. She is ready to go back to her home in the wild!


  1. JRandSue on March 26, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Great work well done,I'm pleased to see many of your injured Birds are returned to the wild.

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