Language English Laurentian Maple Forest Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme OngletsDescriptionDistinguishing featuresThis species is no longer at the Biodôme. The male has a brilliant yellow body, black forehead and eyes, and a beige coloured, relatively big beak. The black wings are striped with white. Its yellow belly ends in a white rump. The black tail is short and forked. The female is grey and its black wings are also striped with white. In winter, the brilliant yellow of the male becomes duller. ReproductionNesting begins in July or at the beginning of August. The male stands on guard while the female builds the nest and lines it with grasses, bark and downy materials (down of thistles, milkweed or bulrushes). She uses spider webs or caterpillar silk to stick these materials together. She sits on the eggs (from four to six), which hatch after 10 to 12 days. Both parents feed the young by regurgitating seeds. DietThe American goldfinch eats mostly thistle seeds, but also eats seeds of many types of grasses, composite flowers such as dandelion, ragweed, mullein, cosmos, salsify, and sunflower, shrubs such as alder, and trees such as birch, elm and cedar. It also eats buds, small fruit, and more rarely, insects (aphids, caterpillars, and gall making insects). To drink, the goldfinch fills its beak with water and then throws its head back to swallow. PredatorsBirds of prey (sharp-shinned hawk, Cooper's hawk), cats (domestic), weasels, squirrels, jays and snakes are its main predators. Occasionally, it gets stuck in a spider web or even on the hooks of certain plants like burdock and thistle. When this happens, it can die of exhaustion. In the presence of a predator, the goldfinch simply gives a cry of alarm. HabitatThe American goldfinch lives in trees in open terrain, particularly in orchards and along roads. It can also be found on farms and in backyards and gardens in suburbs. In North America, the American Goldfinch nests from southern Canada to Mexico. In winter, it lives mostly in the United States and in the most southern regions of Canada. Ecology, behaviourIn winter, it feeds with redpolls and siskins. To keep in touch with other members of the flock when it flies, the goldfinch emits calls when it beats its wings, a sort of \tsee-tsi-tsi-tsi\. The American goldfinch population has declined by 4% per year because of the destruction of breeding habitat. It grows its breeding plumage after a moult. French nameChardonneret jaune Scientific nameSpinus tristisPhylumChordataClassBirdsOrderPasseriformesFamilyFringillidaeSizeLength: 11-13 cm (wingspan: 19-22 cm)Weight11-20 gStatusCommon and abundant, but the population is declining slightly. Least Concern (IUCN).