Brief Note: Perching Orientation Affects Number of Feeding Attempts and Seed Consumption by the American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

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In the mid 1800s, J. J. Audubon illustrated American Goldfinches (Carduelis tristis} feeding upside-down to obtain seed from thistles. The influence of feeding orientation on the number of feeding attempts and seed consumption by the American Goldfinch was investigated in the present study. Six rightside up feeders and six upside-down feeders were filled with thistle seed and put on 1.83 m poles. The number of feeding attempts and seed consumption by goldfinches were recorded. Results from one-way ANOVA tests show that goldfinches attempted to feed right-side up more often and ate greater quantities of thistle while feeding in an upright position. The agility of the American Goldfinch may be one reason that this species will readily feed both right-side up or upside-down. However, for the birdwatcher interested in attracting the American Goldfinch, a feeder where birds eat in an upright position is more effective.


Author Institution: Department of Biology, Hiram College



The Ohio Journal of Science. v95, n4 (September, 1995), 292-293