What could be prettier than a male goldfinch decked out in his breeding plumage?
My extended backyard encompasses a patch of ground that I maintain as a food plot for wildlife. Last weekend I bush hogged the majority of it to encourage tender shoots of new growth to sprout. In the middle of the plot there was a stand of thistle and mullen which I left standing. Thistle attracts a large variety of insects and the ripened thistle seed heads are a favored food of the goldfinch.
With some of the mullen and thistle seed pods ripening I set up in a cover strip this evening to photograph the brilliant little goldfinches. In less than an hour the goldfinches returned to feed with the ones landing closest to me perching on the dried mullen stalks.
While a closely mowed lawn appeals to the human eye allowing native plants to grow and mature where possible, along with mowing every year or two to keep down woody growth, provides a much more attractive setting for wildlife.