Lesser Goldfinch

Carduelis psaltria

The Lesser Goldfinch ranges from the southwestern United States (near the coast, as far north as extreme southwestern Washington) to Venezuela and Peru. It migrates from the colder parts of its range in the USA and are the smallest true finches on earth.

Science recognises the five following subspecies:

  • C. p. Hesperophilus A.K.A.the Green-Backed Goldfinch lives in western USA and northwestern Mexico
  • C. p. witti Iives on Islands off western Mexico
  • C. p. Psaltria A.K.A. the Arkansas Black-Backed Goldfinch lives in western-central USA and south to central Mexico
  • C. p. Jouyi lives in southeast Mexico and northwest Belize
  • C. p. Colombianus lives in southern Mexico, Central America and northern South America

Of all the birds in my Poway yard in southern California, these birds are the most common, and are resident year round. Give a careful listen to their songs, and you might recognise snippets stolen from other bird species, only sped up from the original version.

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