Lesser Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria) and House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) 

Video taken July 5, 2014 in San Fernando Valley, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California.

We were at our friends house yesterday evening for dinner and they always have a good collection of birds and other wildlife in their garden. I brought the camera just in case there was anything interesting and these lesser goldfinch appeared.

Video: Lesser Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria) and House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)

The Lesser Goldfinch or Dark-backed Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria) is a very small songbird of the Americas. Together with its relatives the American Goldfinch and Lawrence’s Goldfinch, it forms the American goldfinches clade in the genus Carduelis sensu stricto.

The American goldfinches can be distinguished by the males having a black (rarely green) forehead, whereas the latter is (like the rest of the face) red or yellow in the European Goldfinch and its relatives. North American males are markedly polymorphic and 5 subspecies are often named; at least 2 of them seem to represent a less-progressed stage inevolution however.

This petite species is not only the smallest North American Carduelis finch, it may be the smallest true finch in the world.[2][3] Some sources list more subtropical Carduelis species as slightly smaller on average, including the Andean Siskin.[4] This species ranges from 9 to 12 cm (3.5 to 4.7 in) in length and can weigh from 8 to 11.5 g (0.28 to 0.41 oz).[4][5][6]Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 5.5 to 7 cm (2.2 to 2.8 in), the tail is 3.9 to 4.7 cm (1.5 to 1.9 in), the bill is 0.9 to 1.1 cm (0.35 to 0.43 in) and the tarsus is 1.1 to 1.2 cm (0.43 to 0.47 in).[4] There is a slight NW-SE cline in size, with the largest birds from Mexico and south being up to one-fifth larger than the smallest from the extreme NW of its range; this effect is more pronounced in females. There is also considerable variation in the amount of black on head and back in males, and thus three subspecies have been proposed. But this variation too seem to be simple and clinal changes in allele frequency, and thus the “subspecies” might be better considered morphs or geographical forms.[7]Wikipedia

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Music: “On The Ground” by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) under Creative Commons License