The brightly colored male American goldfinch is especially recognizable. This coloration is the same in both genders. The immature American goldfinch has a dull brown back, and the underside is pale yellow. American Goldfinch - Winter Plumage Putneypics American goldfinches are most confusing in winter when they are totally without their bright breeding colors. ... At 5 inches in length it is the same size as an American Goldfinch. Related posts and pages: The annual plumage cycle of a male American Goldfinch Molt is the process of feather replacement. NOTE: There are three goldfinch species found in North America. The shoulders and tail are dull black with two buff-colored wing bars, rather than an adult’s white. The state bird of Iowa is common at sunflower and nyjer feeders, and the breeding birds are easily identifiable. . The American regularly visits seed feeders, particularly in the east. Some look quite similar in fact, such as the house finch, purple finch, pine siskin and even the American goldfinch, especially immature birds or winter males. So the identification of these wonderful birds is sometimes tricky. Breeding male and female. The shoulders and tail are dull black with buff-colored, rather than white, markings on wings and rump. In the eastern half of the United States and in Canada, the only goldfinch species you will find is the American Goldfinch. The bill is even thinner than the goldfinch, but still thick at the base. It has the same pudgy body, short neck, and notched tail. In much of the western US, a birder may run across either American Goldfinch or Lesser Goldfinch, while parts of the southwestern United States, a birder may also find Lawrence's Goldfinch. And immature birds don't look exactly like the adults. The American Goldfinch is a small, bright flavescent North American bird that is easily identifiable for its remarkable plumage and bold wing patterns. This coloration is the same in both male and female. The immature American goldfinch has a dull brown back, and the underside is pale yellow. Both males and females look similar in winter, with these field marks… Head: The head is a warm tan color that may show a yellow or gray wash, though the extent of the color varies widely. American goldfinch.