A Lawrence’s Goldfinch is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Lawrence’s Goldfinches. We have also put together a list of fun Lawrence’s Goldfinch t-shirts, Lawrence’s Goldfinch bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird watching items.
About Lawrence’s Goldfinches
These handsome finches are uncommon and their distinctive erratic movements make it hard for birders to give their actual population. Their breeding range is small often covering Baja California and the woodlands of California. The male makes twittering songs that often imitate the calls of other birds. Some of their distinctive features include:
Description and Identification
These erratic birds are small at about 4.75 inches in length, making them only slightly larger
than Lesser Goldfinches. They have small, conical bills, a short tail with a notch, along with
broad wings that span till 8.3 inches. Breeding adult males are mostly gray with yellow on
the breast, upper belly, wings, and back. Their chin and forecrown are also black. The
females are similar in color but have brown upperparts with no black in the face and less
yellow in their plumage. Nonbreeding adults are between breeding males and females in
color, with browner upperparts and less yellow in the underparts. Immatures are typically
brownish with a very little yellow in the wings and the breast.
Lawrence’s Goldfinch Color Pattern
The male Lawrence’s Goldfinches have white underparts with a yellow breast. Their faces and caps are dark. The females are entirely gray with dark wings with yellow bars. Juveniles resemble the females even though they appear brown-gray.
Lawrence’s Goldfinch Size
They are small songbirds with pointed bills and forked tails.
The relative size of both sexes
- Length range: 3.9-4.7 in (10-12 cm)
- Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (9-14 g)
- Wingspan range: 8.3 in (21 cm)
Lawrence’s Goldfinch Behavior
They perch on foliage and pick insects from them. They also forage on shrubs, weeds, and trees often hanging upside down as they reach for seeds. They habitually forage in large flocks and rarely individually. They also forage on the ground picking small insects and seeds beneath leaf litter. The male rarely defends the nest site. However, the male follows the female and sings her songs during courtship.
Lawrence’s Goldfinch Food
Their diet is mainly composed of plant seeds that they forage while perched on the seed-
bearing plant. They generally tend to consume them whole or husk them quickly in the bill
before swallowing them. They have been observed to hang upside-down while reaching for
seeds, a trait that is characteristic of most goldfinches. Their diet consists of seeds from
chamise, mistletoe, coffeeberry, pigweed, inkweed, and thistles. On occasion, they also
consume plant buds and some fruit. During winter, they often join other finches, sparrows,
and juncos in weedy fields to forage in. These birds have been observed to vary rarely
consume insects, presumably only during breeding seasons when the young require
sufficient amounts of protein to grow.
Their diet is mainly made up of seeds and insects in small proportions. They feed on seeds of weeds and plants such as chamise, peppergrass, and fiddleneck. If available, they may feed on small insects, plant buds, and galls.
Lawrence’s Goldfinch Habitat
Lawrence’s Goldfinches mainly nest in dry, open oak woodlands with chaparral and weedy
fields. They tend to prefer spots in proximity to a source of fresh water, leading them to nest
and forage in habitats like coastal scrub, pinyon pine-juniper woodlands, and streamside
areas as well. In urban areas, they can be found feeding in weedy fields and perching on
cypresses or conifers around ranches and the suburbs. Wintering months drive them
towards habitats that are similar to the regions that they breed in, such as desert arroyos,
river floodplains, mesquite bosques, weedy fields, roadsides, cultivated fields, orchards,
gardens, and parks.
They thrive in weedy fields, chaparral, and open woodlands. Their breeding sites range from open pine woods, chaparral, streamlined trees, and oak woodland. During migration, they frequent agricultural fields, brushy areas, and weedy fields. They winter in similar areas.
Range and Migration
Lawrence’s Goldfinches are small songbirds that are predominantly nomadic. These birds
were named after the American ornithologist George Newbold Lawrence to commemorate
his achievements in the field. Although their distribution can be inconsistent, they are mainly
found breeding in California and the Mexican state of Baja California. They are short-
distance migrants that head southwards to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico
during winter. These birds may also travel in response to the availability of food sources in
their vicinity, making their migratory patterns not entirely dependent on seasonal changes.
Lawrence’s Goldfinch Lifecycle
The females lay 4-5 eggs and incubate them for 12-13 days. During incubation, the male feeds the female. The hatchlings are fed by both parents and leave the nest after 11-13 days.
Lawrence’s Goldfinch Nesting
Nesting sites are selected by the females while they are accompanied by the males. They
are usually placed at a forked branch around 10 feet above the ground in tree species like
California sycamore, blue oak, interior live oak, canyon live oak, and coast live oak.
Sometimes, they can also be found in clumps of mistletoe or lace lichen. The nesting cups
are constructed by females, and are woven with grasses, forbs, and leaves before being
lined with plant down, plant fibers, hair, feathers, flowers, or lichen.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Lawrence’s Goldfinches
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Lawrence’s Goldfinches are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Lawrence’s Goldfinch T-shirts
If you love Lawrence’s Goldfinch you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Lawrence’s Goldfinch Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Lawrence’s Goldfinch is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Lawrence’s Goldfinch Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Lawrence’s Goldfinch. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Lawrence’s Goldfinches
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Lawrence’s Goldfinches
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.