"Where are all my goldinfches?"
During its 60-year history, the Kalamazoo Nature Center (KNC) has answered countless wildlife inquiries from the community. Perhaps the most common naturalist question in winter is, "Where have my goldfinches gone?" Nearly 40 years of data from our Michigan Winter Feeder Count tells us that know that the American Goldfinch is among the most abundant feeder species in Michigan each winter. So why are they sometimes absent, perhaps for extended periods? In severe weather events like ice and deep snow, our feeders may be crucial to the survival of some individuals, but most are simply using our feeders as one of many food sources. In early winter, seeds of many plant species are abundant across the landscape, even in places we may consider barren. Flocks of goldfinch likely have older individuals familiar with these food sources. Later in winter, as natural food sources are consumed or covered with snow, the American Goldfinch will again visit feeders in greater numbers.
Continue to feed birds in winter for your enjoyment. Place some food on the ground for doves, sparrows and yes, even for the squirrels. Every species you see at your feeders will bring joy as the all thrive in tandem.
Interested in joining the Winter Feeder Count? Email: JBrenneman@NatureCenter.org