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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Lesser Goldfinch -- Carduelis psaltria


RANGE: Resident from southwestern Washington, western Oregon, northern California, northern Utah, northern Colorado, northwestern Oklahoma, and central and southern Texas south to Baja California and South America.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Generally inhabits scattered trees, woodland edge, second growth, open fields, pastures, and human habitation. Often found in drier foothill regions, in the deserts, and up to 7,300 feet in elevation and usually near water.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Scattered trees and nearby water.

NEST: Saddles nest on a branch of a shrub or tree. Generally locates nest in dense foliage, 2 to 30 feet above the ground. Sometimes nests in loose colonies.

FOOD: Often forages in large flocks throughout the year, gleaning food from or near the ground; rarely feeds in tree crowns. Eats seeds, fruits, flowers, and other plant material, as well as small quantities of insects.

REFERENCES: Coutlee 1968, Linsdale 1957, Verner and Boss 1980.


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