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American goldfinch male and female American Goldfinch Facts Habitat Diet Life Cycle Pictures

The American goldfinch was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in the landmark 1758 10th edition of his work Systema Naturae. It was initially included in the genus Spinus, a group containing New World goldfinches and siskins, but in 1976, Spinus was merged into the genus Carduelis as a subgenus. Recent studies resurrect the genus Spinus. Its closest relatives are the lesser goldfinch (S. psaltria), Lawrence’s goldfinch (S. lawrencei), and the siskins. Although it shares a name with the European goldfinch, the two are in separate genera and are not directly related. Carduelis is derived from carduus, the Latin word for thistle; the species name tristis is Latin for ‘sorrowful’. There are four recognized subspecies of the American goldfinch:

Whitney Chapman

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