Lesser Goldfinch—photos and links

Thanks to Wikimedia Common’s source of free photos, you can see the difference between the black-backed (left) and the green-backed (right)  male Lesser Goldfinches below.


You wouldn’t like mistake a male Lesser for a male American Goldfinch, especially when both are in breeding plumage.  (See a photo of a male and female American Goldfinch on the left; the male is left, the female, right.)  But the females of the species look a lot alike, especially in their duller, non-breeding plumage, although the female American Goldfinch is a bit larger.  (Female Lesser in photo on the right.)  However, if they’re not sitting side by side, that’s not much help.  One sure sign is the color of the beak.  A female Lesser has a dark beak; a female American, a light beak.

You can hear a clip of the Lesser Goldfinch’s song and “tee-yeer” call here; scroll down a bit to the “typical voice” section.


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