Lesser Goldfinches Building A Nest For Bird Photography Weekly

by Larry Jordan on May 24, 2009

Lesser Goldfinch Male Preening photos by Larry Jordan

I suppose I should rephrase my title to read female Lesser Goldfinch building a nest because the male didn’t do any of the nest building at all.  He just sat there preening while his mate did all the work.

Female Lesser GoldfinchForming the cup

Lesser Goldfinch with straw adding to the nestadding straw to the nest

and reforming the cup

I discovered this nest as I was checking bluebird nest boxes on one of my bluebird trails.  The nest box was empty as the Western Bluebird pair had just fledged six chicks.  As I was cleaning out the nest box I noticed that another bird flew up into the tree next to me and I looked to see what is was.  That’s when I discovered the female Lesser Goldfinch building her nest.

I checked in on her progress when I returned home later that day.  In the afternoon sunlight, I was able to get a better view of her excellent workmanship.

The nest is only about 12 feet up in the oak tree and I should be able to get some great photos of the eggs and the chicks to share once they hatch!

To see all the great bird photos, visit Bird Photography Weekly!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Mick May 25, 2009 at 12:52 am

A great series of photos. The male bird must have been quite unconcerned with your presence to sit and calmly preen.

Micks last blog post..Little Friarbird


Kelly May 25, 2009 at 4:52 am

…what a beautiful little nest! Thank goodness she caught your eye so you were able to photograph her progress. What they can do with their bills is incredible!! Lovely series of photos.

Kellys last blog post..Pileated Woodpeckers on the Little Miami Bike Trail (BPW #39)


Thomas May 25, 2009 at 8:00 am

I like the way you have patiently documented her behavior in this series. The first image is my favorite. Good luck with the chicks Larry.

Thomass last blog post..India – Wildlife Action Series – Asiatic Elephant


Arija May 25, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Well spotted and the aftrnoon light does make a lot of difference in the clarity. Nice progression of nest building, look forward to the next exiting episode.

Arijas last blog post..BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY WEEKLY ~ 12 Masked Lapwing


Amy May 25, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Great series, I look forward to seeing more of this little family. Impressive what that little bird can do in just one day, wow!

Amys last blog post..BPW: Bobolinks


bob k May 26, 2009 at 8:29 am

Thanks for documenting the nesting behavior of the Lesser Goldfinches, Larry. Even though I see these birds regularly, I have not seen their nests yet.

bob ks last blog post..Oh By Gosh, By Golly-leo


bevson May 28, 2009 at 2:25 am

Ah, the Lesser Goldfinch. One of my favorites. I saw my first one in Anza-Borrego, I will never forget it. I love your little series. She is such a homebuilder and he is gorgeous but a slouch.

bevsons last blog post..Grassland Bird Survey


Frank Kratofil May 29, 2009 at 6:19 am

Great series of shots. I would like to document the nest and babies with you if I can. Let me know?


Connie Smiley January 23, 2012 at 8:10 am

Love that first shot, and it was fun seeing the nest building.


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