Lesser Goldfinch

photo by Phil Swanson

Carduelis psaltria
L 4 1/2″ (11 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Kitten-like “tee-yee.” Song is somewhat similar to that of American Goldfinch. 

Description: Lacks white undertail coverts. Adult male has entirely black crown; back varies in color from black in eastern part of range to greenish in western birds. Underparts are bright yellow; white markings on black wings and tail. Females are duller overall and lack black on head and back. Juveniles are similar to adult females.

Behavior: Lesser Goldfinches often combine their own call notes with those of nearby species.

Bird Map
Habitat: Oak savannas, dry brushy fields, woodland edges, and suburban gardens.

Where in Nebraska: Accidental. Seen in Sioux County in 1984, and at Cedar Point Biological Station in Keith County in 1998.

Fun Facts: Field Notes: Lesser Goldfinch males have black caps and blacker backs in the East and greener backs towards the West.

Lesser Goldfinch - photo by Phil Swanson Lesser Goldfinch - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)