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Crossville, TN, USA
American Goldfinch male
I have at least two apparently goldfinches in my backyard, with the black cap, but their feathers in the tail area are solid black, without any striping or coloration. Are they actually goldfinches.
Hi Roger, Some bird species can have slight variations in their coloration. Depending on where you live, you might be seeing an American Goldfinch, or a Lesser Goldfinch. Additionally, these birds have a different coloration for breeding season than in the non-breeding season, so you might be seeing a male that has not yet started his molt for the non-breeding season. If the birds you’re seeing look like neither species, we suggest checking out our Color Variants article, or using the free Merlin Bird ID app to help identify the bird. You can also use an online version of Merlin by clicking in the upper right-hand corner of AllAboutBirds.org.
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