Backyard happenings

Just like the striking blue of the male bluebird; the regal red of the male cardinal; and the brilliant orange of the Baltimore Oriole, once the goldfinch returns to the yard, it is evident immediately.

Maybe even more-so, on a dull, dreary, cool day like today, that inextinguishable yellow of the male goldfinch cannot be missed. Streaking through the yard, flitting from branch to grass to feeder at such a pace that they are hard to photograph, I watched as one male settled in the grass by a silky dandelion flower.

Two possibilities why: as it is time for nest building, he was interested in the older dandelion for its soft feathery bristles to line a nest, and secondly…the seeds. Goldfinches loves seeds. They can be found en masse nibbling on the seeds of catmint, rudbeckia, and cone flower.

I had to include this next photo. It will make you chuckle. Take a look at the size difference between the wild turkey and finch.

the goldfinch, still enticed by the dandelion, never minds the preening gentle giant

My advice to you: think twice when you want to kill a dandelion with pesticides. As you can see, dandelions provide a useful purpose — nest lining, seeds, and as I showed you before, an early-in-the-season boost of pollen for pollinators. Pesticides also wreak havoc on your yard, the environment and the animals/insects who feed off of them. I leave dandelions on my slope from the immediate backyard down to the pond. If I don’t like them in a flower bed or up near the house, where I don’t think they belong, I pick it!

Get back to nature. Enjoy being outside, providing a safe haven for all who enter.

#nature #wildturkey #goldfinch

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