Friday, 4 February 2011

Lesser goldfinch

Carduelis psaltria


Common name:

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Fringillidae

Range:
These birds are found from the south-western united States ans Mexico, and along Central America into Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Size:
Lesser goldfinches are 10-12 cm and have a wingspan of 20-22 cm. They weigh 9-10 g.

Habitat:
They are typically found in dry, open woodlands and in pastures, steppes, forest openings, and along streams.

Diet:
They mostly eat tree buds and weed seeds, but may occasionally take some arthropods.

Breeding:
In the northern parts of their range, lesser goldfinches breed during the summer, but in the tropics they breed all year round. The female builds the nest, a compact, open cup made of fine plant materials such as lichens, rootlets, and strips of bark, placed in a bush or at low or middle levels in a tree. There the female lays 3-5 bluish white eggs, which she incubates alone for 12-13 days. The male brings her food while she incubates, and while she broods the young for the first few days after they hatch. After that, both parents bring food to the young. The young fledge 2 weeks after hatching, but the parents continue to feed the young for at least another week.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 3 million. It may have undergone a small decline over the last few decades, but the species is not considered threatened at present.

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