American Goldfinch
(Spinus tristis)

Summary

Picture of bird
© Dan Busby
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The American Goldfinch breeds across southern Canada, from the east to the west coast. The Breeding Bird Survey indicates that populations within Canada have shown little overall change since about 1970, though the species has shown significant regional decreases, particularly in the west. The American Goldfinch is thought to have benefited in some areas from alterations brought to the landscape by humans; there is little cause for conservation concern for this abundant species.

Designations

Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaLittle ChangeHighAt an Acceptable Level
 

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada5,000,000 - 50,000,000 adults
 

Distribution maps

 

Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population
CanadaModerate

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between mid-June and early July and ends between late August and mid-September, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.
 

Conservation and management

Like many of the songbirds of brushland or early successional habitats, the American Goldfinch benefited from forest-clearing for farmland and community development (McGraw and Middleton 2017). However, the species is thought to be negatively affected by habitat loss due to intensification of agriculture and urbanization, as well as by predation by domestic cats (McGraw and Middleton 2017).

 

Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
NoneNone
 

References