After looking at the website stats, I saw that the phrase 'Attracting American Goldfinches' had been searched. I decided to write an article on just that.
First I'll start out with the basics. Here is an American goldfinch male and female:
And here is a male American goldfinch in his non-breeding plumage (which he acquires in fall and keeps throughout the winter):
Quite the difference, eh?
American goldfinches are quite common in some rural areas. I am listening to some goldfinches at the sunflowers right now.
I have about 8 of them around here in summer, but last winter I had as many as 17!
The best bet for attracting American goldfinches is putting up a finch feeder filled with thistle seed (niger). This is the more costly method, but also the easier method. The other method would be plant sunflowers. If there is anything goldfinches like almost as good as thistle seed, it is sunflower seeds. If you plant a few sunflowers, at least four of them, you should have goldfinches everywhere (if there are any in the area). Or you could put out a tube feeder with sunflower seeds.
Goldfinches will visit bird baths, but thistle or sunflowers will attract them more quickly. If there are any goldfinches in the area and you have either a finch feeder or sunflowers, you should see them anytime. You might also see chickadees or house finches picking the seeds out of a sunflower head!