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Lawrence's Goldfinch

ID Info
Silhouette FinchesFinches
Lawrence's GoldfinchSpinus lawrencei
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Fringillidae

Basic Description

Among the most attractive of North American songbirds, male Lawrence’s Goldfinches are soft gray overall set off by a black face and copious amounts of lemon yellow throughout. But the species’ preference for remote, arid habitats of California and the Desert Southwest renders it unfamiliar to most birders. It’s also a nomadic species that moves around at all times of year in search of rainfall, seeding plants, and drinking water. Though still fairly numerous within its range, Lawrence’s Goldfinch is on the Yellow Watch List for species with restricted ranges.

More ID Info
image of range map for Lawrence's Goldfinch
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Lawrence’s Goldfinches are most active and feed most heavily in early morning and late afternoon. It’s hard to predict where to find this nomadic species, but hiking or driving through scattered copses of blue oak, with plenty of weedy areas (and streams or creeks near), is a good way to look for them.

Other Names

  • Jilguero de Lawrence (Spanish)
  • Chardonneret gris (French)

Backyard Tips

Within their range, Lawrence’s Goldfinches sometimes visit feeders stocked with nyjer or other very small seeds.

  • Cool Facts