Posted by: atowhee | August 14, 2020


The dog and I frightened a finch in a fountain at the Salem motel where we are sheltering.  He flew up into a nearby tree, gave us a look, but could not long resist the lure of the bubbling water.  He returned to the fountain.  It could have been a she-adult but I guessed it was a first year Lesser Goldfinch.

How do the goldfinches find these fountains?  At Kelly’s there is a field full of seedy weeds right next to the fountain–food and fun adjacent.  But this time there’s no decent goldfinch habitat nearby.  Do they fly around looking?  Can they sense the moisture?  Do they check there iPhone for the nearest running water?

A few days back I noticed one of the businesses in McMinnville was generously and heedlessly watering its tiny stretch of lawn, the sidewalk, the highway and much of its parking lot.

American Goldfinches noticed as well.  This male seemed only to be thirsty, not bathing like the finches I’ve seen at fountains.  And he didn’t get unto the spray coming from the irrigation, just enjoyed the quiet pools as the water flowed over the pavement. The others flew away the second they noticed me watching them.  Again, this was far from any true finch habitat.  It was along Hwy 99 across from the McMinnville High School soccer field–buildings and pavement and mowed grass.

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