Talk:American goldfinch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Talk:American Goldfinch)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Featured articleAmerican goldfinch is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 15, 2011.
Article milestones
April 23, 2007Peer reviewReviewed
May 30, 2007Good article nomineeListed
June 28, 2007Featured article candidatePromoted
Current status: Featured article
WikiProject Birds (Rated FA-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject iconAmerican goldfinch is part of WikiProject Birds, an attempt at creating a standardized, informative and easy-to-use ornithological resource. If you would like to participate, visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks. Please do not substitute this template.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
Note icon
This article has had a peer review which is now archived.
WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles that are spoken on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.

older entries[edit]

This is my favorite kind of bird!! Swannie 21:56, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Mine too! Hey jude, don't let me down 23:35, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

General points[edit]

The range map in the taxobox needs a legend explaining the colours. Sabine's Sunbird talk 01:21, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Done. Hey jude, don't let me down 01:38, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Looking good[edit]

Hi, I hope you don't mind me rearranging things a bit but this creates heirarchical sections and subsections. Started a copyedit. There is some good stuff around and I will look later but gotta crash now. Article needs a taxonomy section -who named it, when, what's it related to (genus), is it related to English Goldfinch (not), subspecies. I have put taxonomy above description as it usually has stuff on names etc. See Common Raven, which is at FAC now, and Kakapo, an FA. These may be helpful.

Looking good though and I'd have thought would be qualify as a GA pretty much now. cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 14:16, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

PS: I hav a latin dictionary too for a ref for the name...cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 14:17, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

PPS: Cut and paste reference off Raven taxonomy for Linnaeus :) cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 14:19, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for all the help, I don't mind at all! I added a taxonomy piece; it's pretty short, though. What else should be added besides the meaning/origin of the name? --Jude 20:55, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

more points on taxonomy[edit]

  • [this] looks fascinating. Love all the evolution and DNA stuff.
  • add some range and descriptors of subsp (see Common Raven) for example.
  • was put in genus Spinus for a while, why the change?

Will try to look into a few of these myself. cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 03:50, 25 May 2007 (UTC)


  • Great, starting to come together nicely. I am Australian so have little knowledge of many American birds. I am trying to think of what else could be added - is there literature on feeding the little critters in your backyard? any other cultural refs? are they kept as pets? These may all draw a blank but I am thinking.....cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 23:04, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
There are a number of websites that reccomend ways to attract them to one's yard, and there are apparently feeders designed specifically for them/ other finches. Which section should that be under? - Jude 00:04, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
New section at bottom Relationship with humans cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 00:56, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Looks good - probably needs to be a little longer - anything else to embellish? cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 04:29, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
In Australia there are big issues with feeding of birds and many environmentalists oppose the idea - are there any similar controversies in the US? cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 04:29, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
There are charges that it favors particular species and can lead to inflated populations of the favored species, and also that it has the potential to spread disease through avian populations.(There's a Wall Street Journal article about it mentioned in the Bird feeder article, so I'll look it up) It isn't hugely controversial, but it's debated. --Jude 12:46, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Yep, all this is good. Gotta sleep now (late here and winter is kicking in and I feel a cold coming on...)cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs

Style issues[edit]

The article should easily pass GA..but I think FA is a goal on the horizon and there are a few things which will need tweaking (and may be pointed out for GA). Many paragraphs are short, with one- or two-sentences. I have comibned a few which were straightforward but there will need to be some more done. The idea is to make flowing text. The 3 paras regarding moults and sexual dimporphism need a rejig to smoothe the flow and reduce repetition. This can be tricky with several points referring to several others. Anyway, there are a few bird FAs to compare it with. Once it passes GA there aresoem good copyeditors who can give some further pointers and ideas. cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 12:55, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

PS: Is there anything in American folklore or native american stories about the bird? cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 12:55, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

I combined some of the information on the moults. I expected that I would be able to find some sort of folklore or cultural reference about the goldfinch, as it's relatively eye-catching and so forth, but I haven't been able to. -Jude 19:19, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, maybe there is none (?) cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 20:02, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Apparently so. Jude 22:08, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

As an addendum, Mourning Dove is a shorter FA it can be compared with if you want to see -where/how to go from here.cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 02:01, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

....actually comparing them this one looks pretty darn good!

Further ideas.
  1. . Any info on how long babies take to fledge and how/if they are looked after?
  2. . Under subspecies - in Common Raven we bolded the subpsecies common names and didn't have them in parentheses, but I'll leave it up to you whether you want to change it.

I think with content is just about done. I'll ask Circeus to see if he's got time for a look-over as he's pretty through. cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 02:06, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

PS: One final thing, if you look at the intro, all 3 paras start with, "The American Goldfinch...." - which sounds awkward. Nothing springs to mind though...cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 11:33, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I added a bit on the fledging of chicks. The chicks are fed by parents even after they are able to fly, which was unclear before. I changed the subspecies list to match that of Common Raven, and changed the second intro paragraph so it doesn't start the same way... I don't know if it's odd to start with "The plumage color...."; I suppose it could just be changed to "It changes in color". -Jude 19:56, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

GA on hold[edit]

Thank you for nominating this article as one that may meet the Good Article Criteria. As you will see I have put the article on hold at this time. My comments are as follows:

  1. Articles that focus on a topic specific to a particular English-speaking country should generally conform to the usage and spelling of that country. Because this bird is exclusive to North America (mostly the US) all spellings should therefore conform to American English.
  2. When placed at the end of a clause or sentence the ref tag should be directly after the punctuation mark without an intervening space,[3] The same is true for successive ref tags.[2][3] Please ensure that this is consistent throughout the article.
  3. Please endure that all references are formatted correctly, preferably using the appropriate citation template
  4. Link Linnaeus, gregarious, alarm calling, spiderweb , caterpillar silk, regurgitated, fledging, birders, moult however is overlinked (note molt in A.E.)
Done but there is no page for gregarious, nor caterpillar silk - funnily enough, caterpillar has a redlink to gregarious too.cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 23:49, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
  1. For consistency the following changes might improve the sentence: "It is migratory, spending the summer breeding season in ranges across (from) southern Canada through (to) North Carolina in the United States and (add in) the winter in ranges (add from) just south of the Canadian border to the core Southwestern States. This It is the state bird of Iowa, New Jersey, and Washington.[1]"
  2. The plumage color (add of the American Goldfinch) changes twice a year…
  3. Switch sentence locations here so that it reads-- “Its breeding season begins in late July, relatively late in the year for a finch. It may behave territorially during nest construction."
I thought that it would be more appropriately placed next social behavior than with reproduction, as it refers to aggressiveness which contrasts with gregarious behavior during the rest of the year. If you really prefer that I make the change, then I will do so. --Jude 00:25, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
  1. "Its winter range includes" ….-Remove “as pictured in the range map”
  2. "The American Goldfinch is a short-distance migrant, moving south in response to colder weather and lessened food supply. The migration is completed in compact flocks, which travel in an erratic, wavelike flight pattern. [10]" Move this bit so that it is before the discussion of the summer/winter rages right after “during the spring and fall migrations”
  3. "In the breeding season, it lives in loose colonies." change is to during
  4. Its diet consists of the seeds from a wide variety of annual plants, often weed seeds such as the seeds of grasses and trees, such as (change to including)
  5. Reword: “Though some finches use their feet sparingly in feeding, the American Goldfinch uses its feet extensively” to "Unlike some finch species, the American Goldfinch uses its feet extensively in feeding"
  6. “This dexterity enables it to take advantage of food sources relatively inaccessible to some potential competitors--(remove some)
  7. “at a height of up to 10 m (1-30 ft) above the ground. (remove above the ground)
  8. It is thought that they are laid during the night. (needs a cite)
  9. Reword to: The hatchings develop quickly, first opening their eyes after three days, and completing the growth of olive-brown juvenile plumage after 11 to 15 days,…
  10. Backyard birders may attract it using feeders containing Nyjer thistle seed…. (needs a cite)
  11. “Some controversy surrounds bird feeding, however. It has been charged that it effects diversity of the ecosystem, and spreads disease among birds. Backyard feeding may inflate the population of seed-eating birds who feed on human-provided seed, at the expense of other species, reducing diversity of species.[25] An article in the Wall Street Journal in December 2002 entitled "Crying Fowl:American Backyard Feeders May Do Harm to Wild Birds", it is contended that feeding by humans fosters the spread of disease, such as Mycoplasma gallisepticum, through the songbird populations, as large numbers of birds gather at feeders. These articles have been contested by a number of ornithological organizations. [26][27] “--This bit seems more appropriate to an article about birdfeeders, and is not about these birds in particular. Why not just say: "Some controversy surrounds bird feeding, however (see bird feeder for more information)."
  12. Reword: “Clearing of woodlands causes changes in bird populations as the environment is changed, causing declines in numbers of neotropical migrants, while favors short- distance migrants and permanent residents, and benefits the American Goldfinch both as a short-distance migrant, and because the created open areas are the preferred environment of the bird, where weeds (remove comma add em dash) which produce the main food of the American Goldfinch (em dash) thrive.
  13. I would remove all of the “Further reading”, except the book which should be formatted using the {{cite book}} template with ISBN, and maybe a few useful journal articles, again using a citation template with PMIDs. External links then should go at the very end of the article.

For the most part, an excellent job on the article, and if you fix the above suggestions within seven days and let me know I will pass it. If there is a good reason to not complete some of my suggestions let me know and I will adjust my thought process rather than just fail the article. Please let me know on my talk page when you finish or if you have any questions. (Note: This was my first GA review, if you found the review helpful, or if it was terrible, I would appreciate if you would let me know!) Cheers--DO11.10 22:43, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

My analysis at Talk:American Goldfinch/comments might complete the above comments. Circeus 23:16, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

A few minor things still need fixing, mostly references (#3 above), which will have to be fixed anyway if you plan to take this to FA:
  1. The year needs to be fixed on a number of references. Retrieved on 12 April, 200&., Retrieved on 13 April, 200&
  2. The correct formatting for Ref#15 is: <ref name= Sullivan>{{cite book |author=Jerry Sullivan, Victor M. Cassidy (Editor), Bobby Sutton (Illustrator) |title=Hunting for Frogs on Elston, and Other Tales from Field & Street|url=| publisher=University of Chicago Press |location=Chicago |year= |pages= |isbn=0-226-77993-9 |oclc= |doi=}}</ref>
  3. This is the correct format for the "Further reading" book: <ref>{{cite book |last= Middleton,|first= A. L. A |authorlink= |coauthors= |editor= A. Poole and F. Gill |others= |title= The Birds of North America|url= |format= |accessdate=2007-05-30 |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= No. 80 |series= |date= 1993 |publisher= The Academy of Natural Sciences |location= Philadelphia:|language= |isbn= |oclc= |doi= 10.2173/bna.80|id= |pages= |chapter= American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) |chapterurl=}}</ref>
  4. This following is funky, please make the references consistent. "{{refbegin}} * {{IUCN2006|assessors=BirdLife International|year=2004|id=53442|title=Carduelis tristis|downloaded=12 May 2006}} Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern{{refend}}"
  5. How about gregarious?
  6. "The hatchings develop quickly, first opening their eyes after three days, and completing the growth of olive-brown juvenile plumage after 11 to 15 days after hatching,"--Remove “after hatching", sorry if this wasn't clear
  7. An em dash looks like this: "—" not like: "–". In the bottom editor box, with the symbols and characters below the line "Do not copy text from other websites without a GFDL-compatible license. It will be deleted." there is a line that says "Insert" the second one in is an em dash.

Should be easy enough, and other than that the article looks great. Also, Jude, the breeding season/nesting/aggressive change I suggested above is not required, its okay as it is.--DO11.10 22:41, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I have passed the article. Good job! Keep up the good work.--DO11.10 00:29, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I've been through several times correcting typos, tightening prose and making consistently singular instead of drifting from "it" to "they". This article has many multiple links, not sure if I picked them all up. I changed "benefitted" to "benefited", apologies if the former is correct in the US. Jimfbleak 10:03, 22 June 2007 (UTC)


Congrats on bringing this to FA, to all who contributed. Cheers, Corvus coronoides 18:02, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Questions about the moulting and about one of the photos[edit]

It says in the text:"The American Goldfinch undergoes a molt in the spring and fall... ...It is the only cardueline finch to undergo a complete molt; other finches change plumage color by the gradual wearing-down of the feathers. In each molt, it sheds all but the wing and tail feathers." Doesn't the term "complete molt", (instead of a "partial molt") means that it shed all feathers including wing and tail feathers. And of course this bird has to moult its wing and tail feathers at least once a year!? So there has to be some mix up with the facts here.

There is a photo in the artcle identified as an adult female goldfinch in nonbreeding plumage - why is that so? A female during winter shouldnt have such a yellow throat, should it? And the wingband is also as bright as on an adult nonbreding male (according to my books). And the black on the forehead either suggest its an adult nonbreeding male that just started to get its breeding plumage or just got its nonbreeding plumage and has some black feathers left. Or am I misstaking? -- 16:54, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

You're absolutely right about the photo; that's a male, not a female. As far as the complete moult, I'm not 100 percent sure, but I believe that the goldfinch does, in fact, undergo a complete moult. The fact that it undergoes a complete moult is mentioned is a number of sources. I think the reason the wing and tail feathers are not shed during the moult is because that would render the bird flightless, and extremely vulnerable to predators. I would assume that the wing and tail feathers are replaced gradually throughout the year.
Thanks for the affirmation about the photo. As I have understood it by reading on the internet it is the only bird in the underfamily Carduelinae who undergo a molt twice a year; one complete after the breeading season when it shed all its feathers during a period of time - this include tail and wing feathers and one partial molt in springtime when it shed its bodyplumage to get the breeding plumage. But I havnt found a realiable source for this - so anybody with this kind of knowledge is very welcome to fill in. -- 20:48, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry for not giving up - but im quite surtain the information about the molting in this article is wrong and since it is featured article this should be looked up and fixed. I add the attention template again so that the problem gets a little attention. -- 21:23, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
It's fixed now. Cheers, Jude. 21:52, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Hi again Jude.! I really want this to be right so just hear me out. Its still say "In each molt, it sheds all but the wing and tail feathers" - wouldnt that suggest it doesnt molt its wing and tail feathers at all? And the fact that this is the only carduline finch (or even Carduelinae finch) that molt twice a year doesnt have a relalible source. The text is a bit unprecise in this respect, I would say. -- 09:42, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Hi. The ref wasn't right beside it, so I put one in. But there are several refs that say it, if you want multiple refs.([1], [2]) But anyway, I think I've finally got it right. I hope. Jude. 00:03, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Hi Jude.! Yes now it seems correct. In all you all do a great job with the bird articles here on imho! Take care! -- 20:04, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! And thank you very much for pointing that out! Cheers, Jude. 18:37, 27 September 2007 (UTC)


According to the article, this bird "was initially included in the genus Spinus, a group containing New World goldfinches and siskins, but in 1976, Spinus was merged into the genus Carduelis as a subgenus." I spot-checked several published field guides, most of which now use the genus Carduelis, though online resources are mixed, and may use one genus or the other. If Carduelis is now the official genus, why not use it in the article? PlaysInPeoria (talk) 15:29, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

(very belatedly) good changed as IOC name is C. Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:09, 15 May 2011 (UTC)


I thought featured articles, and maybe all articles linked to on the "front page," were routinely locked while they are on the "front page," to prevent precisely the kind of absurd game that's been going on today, with one (probably) or more vandals repeatedly changing this article and several of us trying to change it back. Everyone else seemed to be trying to find the vandalism and correct it, and in the process missed some; I reverted to the last version before the vandalism began. But of course WHILE I'M TYPING this it's probably been defaced again.

I wonder what would happen if there was a magic spell that kept everyone with an emotional age of 4 or under off the internet.

Gms3591 (talk) 10:43, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

There has been a tradition of keeping the page unlocked unless a super-obvious vandalism target. I would not have thought that of this one. Will take a look at the history. Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:00, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Winter range and "full Canadian border"[edit]

I don't really understand what "full Canadian border means". (Spouse doesn't understand it either.) But I do know that American Goldfinches winter in Nova Scotia – Godfrey gives their winter range as "southern Canada". Modal Jig (talk) 15:30, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Here's a link to Hinterland Who's Who – American Goldfinch. See the range section. (I don't want to mess with a featured article.) Modal Jig (talk) 15:37, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

American Goldfinch also winter in southern BC, Canada. I have them in my backyard year round — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 16 July 2018 (UTC)


I don't think the account of the goldfinch's habitat is quite complete. They do frequent urban areas, such as my back yard right here in Ann Arbor. I did a quick search trying to document that, but I don't have time to do it right. I hope someone else will look into this. (talk) 14:03, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 5 external links on American goldfinch. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete the "External links modified" sections if they want, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 22:25, 19 May 2017 (UTC)