Lesser Goldfinch

Fairly common in the southwest, Lesser Goldfinches are often found around streams, weedy fields and open woods. Very small, these finches have white patches in the wings as opposed to streaks. From Colorado to Texas most males have solid black backs; further west, most have green backs. The female is plainer and smaller than the brightly colored American Goldfinch. Lesser Goldfinches are typically seen in pairs or small flocks and are often seen in backyards in search of seeds and water.  

Favorite Foods

Nyjer® is the gold standard – guaranteed to bring these birds to your backyard. In addition, FinchWise® is another great choice. A blend of Nyjer, Hulled Sunflower and Millet, it also attracts house and purple finches.

Perfect Feeders

Lesser Goldfinch prefer tall, cylindrical feeders. Nyjer® mesh feeders allow them to perch and cling, whereas, tube feeders with tiny holes for Nyjer seed give them a perch to sit upon while eating. The Click n’ Clean Down Under Goldfinch Feeder excludes other birds that can’t eat upside down while giving your goldfinches a peaceful place to eat. 


The female, which builds most of the nest, constructs it out of plant materials she collects with her beak. The materials can include leaves, spider webs, cocoons and plant fibers. The eggs, typically 4-5, are pale blue to pale blue-green and usually unmarked. The female incubates the eggs and both sexes care for the young. We carry a nice selection of nesting materials to cushion the nest. Hang materials in trees in your backyard and watch as birds sweep in, grab some in their mouth and flutter off to their nesting sites.

Did You Know?

The Lesser Goldfinch is also known as the Dark-Backed Goldfinch.