Yellow! This Tuesday (July 12th) I saw my first american goldfinches in breeding plumage in Calgary. Walking west from the osprey nest in Bowmont Park, on the small dirt path that follows the bank of the Bow River, I saw a bright yellow bird sitting on a low tree branch. I usually see a few yellow warblers in this park, in perpetual motion from one branch to another. But this yellow bird kept the same perch for a while, was a different shade of yellow and was a wee bit bigger. She didn’t fly away when I inched a little closer to sidestep some obstructing branches. I took a few photos and identified her as a female american goldfinch when I got home – she doesn’t have a black cap and the yellow feathers on her back and head are tinged with grey. She had likely indulged in some juicy red berries earlier since her beak was smeared with bright red mush. I thought she made a brief reappearance later on, but that quick glimpse of yellow turned out to be a male american goldfinch. Her mate maybe?