Monday, September 29, 2008

More than a Molt?

For a week now, we have had an especially ragged American Goldfinch visit our feeders. As you know, the goldfinches undergo two moltings every year; once in the spring for their summer plumage and once in the fall for the winter plumage. Most of the finches here are molting now.

This particular goldfinch is quite different from the others. So different in fact, that I wonder if he has some leucistic properties along with his molting. He is much lighter in color with his main body more white and light gray than yellow. His wings are dark black and his chest is more yellow than the rest of his body.

I have tried to photograph him in a tree, but he eats from the feeders, or drinks from the birdbath and then disappears into the woods. I haven't seen him in a tree so I haven't had a good look at his chest.

I am far from an expert on birds. If you have an opinion about this goldfinch, I would love to hear it.

Headlines from our newspaper: "Gas lines shorter, most stations out of gas."

Well, of course the lines are short if there is no gas. Two stations received small supplies of gasoline this morning and sold out within two hours. We're still fine, although it would be nice to drive through the mountains again. Hopefully the shortages will end soon and we can "splurge" and take a drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Susan Gets Native said...

You've got a leucistic goldfinch there, Carolyn.

Add that to a molt and you have a scrubby bird.

Jayne said...

He is quite lighter than a regular goldfinch for sure. Cool find Carolyn! :c)

Shelley said...

He looks like he has a grumpy expression on his face- which of course makes him all the more cuter!

KGMom said...

I am sure gas supplies will return, and you will have your drive.
Sorry for your present inconvenience, however.

Dog_geek said...

Interesting photos! I don't think I've ever seen a leucistic goldfinch here!

I sure hope that the gas situation gets sorted out soon - I'm missing your parkway pictures!

The Birdlady said...

This is all sort of scary - still no gas? My sister lives in Atlanta, and they have shortages too. So far, so good here.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Carolyn: What a neat capture of the scruffy bird. Maybe you can get a picture after molt.

i loved your write-up, no lines for no reason other then no gas. What a mess with your gas. Our prices are lower then it has been for a year and we have supply.

Cheryl said...

Hi mountainwoman.......your goldfinch are so different from ours so I cannot pass comment.....but I love the photographs....I have trouble getting pics of birds, so always appreciate other peoples.....

NCmountainwoman said...

Susan - He may be a scrubby bird, but he's MY scrubby bird. Thanks for the ID confirmation.

Jayne - Amazing what we see when we have time to look.

Shelley - Yes, he does look grumpy.

Donna - Yes, I'm sure the decreased panic buying and increased deliveries will free us again.

Dog Geek - I'm missing driving there and looking at the early fall colors.

Helen - Hard to believe it is worse now than immediately after the hurricane.

Fishing guy - I hope he will winter here, or at least stay around until he gets his winter plumage.