Breakfast in America: Goldfinch and Echinacea

On this morning, I stopped at the Arboretum for a quick walk-through before an early work meeting. It was deceptively quiet there, but things were pretty lively in the pollinator garden.

In the rose of sharon bushes, bumblebees were rolling around getting pollen all over their little black velvet vests. The yellow flowers were abuzz with even more bees: bees of every size, shape, and kind.

As I walked past the lily pond, I caught a flash or two of yellow at the edges of my vision. This wouldn't be the first morning that I've seen goldfinches, or that I've pushed a group of them through the gardens ahead of me. It's usually like that: just a glimpse, and they're gone. The bright sunny yellow of the males; the lighter gray-yellow of the females. (You can read more about the American goldfinch here, and even listen to its typical calls and songs.)

And then I rounded a corner, and there, near the rose of sharon bushes, was a whole group of goldfinches feasting on echinacea seeds! They were perching on the blooms or the stems of blooms, and they were so engrossed in their snacks that they didn't immediately disappear like they usually do. And so I sneaked a little closer and got a few pictures; this shot of a bright-colored male goldfinch was the best and clearest of the bunch.

The song to accompany this image is Roger Hodgson, formerly of Supertramp, with Breakfast in America.

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