Goldfinch and woolly aphids

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
Jim Kirker
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:54 pm

Goldfinch and woolly aphids

Postby Jim Kirker » Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:30 pm

A week or so ago I was puzzled to see a goldfinch with a woolly tuft on its upper bill. The bird was perched on a dead conifer branch with woolly aphids at its feet, suggesting it had brought the aphids there from somewhere else. It kept wiping the sides of its bill against a branch, missing the moustache-like tuft. Then a few days later I saw a goldfinch pecking at a woolly aphid in a nearby pittosporum. They are known to feed small invertebrates to their young. I didn't see a nest, but was not really looking for one.
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Re: Goldfinch and woolly aphids

Postby les » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:04 pm

they could be using it as a nest lining material?thistledown and cobwebs I have seen being collected.

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