When is Parker County Hummingbird and Goldfinch Season

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  5. When is Parker County Hummingbird and Goldfinch Season

When should the feeders for Hummingbirds and Goldfinches be set out.

Hummingbirds are active in Parker County from about April through September.  These dates are not set in stone. Weather and other factors will affect the migration to our area to some degree. Setting your feeders out a little early and leaving them a little later will not impact the migration of the birds.

Goldfinches are here from about October through April.

We see two species of finches in this area:  House Finch and American Goldfinch.

The House Finch is a year-round resident and commonly breeds in the area. The male is quite attractive with  alot of orange-red on the crown, throat and breast. The female is a drab sparrow-looking bird.  They can be fed anytime, but I normally feed during the winter months only, as there is usually plenty of natural food for them to eat during the rest of the year.  They like black sunflower seed, as most seed-eaters do.  An open platform feeder works well.

The American Goldfinch comes here for the winter, normally arriving in October and leaving in May.  They go north to breed.

When they arrive here in October, both the male and female are rather drab-looking birds.  Before they leave in May the males put on their breeding plumage and are truly beautiful with canary-yellow/golden bodies and black cap and wings.

Most people who want to attract them feed between October and May.  They will eat black sunflower seed, but really love Niger Thistle seed.  Tubular feeders or cloth sock feeders work well. The thistle seed sometimes also attracts Pine Siskins.

The male in breeding plummage is one of our most beautiful birds.  Too bad that he leaves our area not long after he dons the beautiful plummage!

Happy bird feeding.

Phil Craighead
Birder and Master Gardener