The American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) is a small North American bird in the finch family. It is migratory, ranging from mid-Alberta to North Carolina during the breeding season, and from just south of the Canada–United States border to Mexico during the winter.
The American goldfinch prefers open country where weeds thrive, such as fields, meadows, flood plains, as well as roadsides, orchards, and gardens. It may also be found in open deciduous and riparian woodlands and areas of secondary growth.
It is a granivore and adapted for the consumption of seedheads, with a conical beak to remove the seeds and agile feet to grip the stems of seedheads while feeding. It will occasionally eat insects, which are also fed to its young to provide protein. Its diet consists of the seeds from a wide variety of annual plants, often those of weeds, grasses, and trees, such as thistle, teasel, dandelion, ragweed, mullein, cosmos, goatsbeard, sunflower, and alder. However, it also consumes tree buds, maple sap, and berries.