They come here for the winter and breed, then fly up to Canada where, I’m assured, they breed again. Now, they are back. They have been coming back, a few birds at a time, for several weeks, but today, they were everywhere.
It might be the drought, but this year, they are eating the flowers — in particular, the leaves. Apparently they are especially fond of salad and are one of the few birds who don’t eat any insects — just seeds, fruit, thistle, and leaves. This is the first time they have gotten serious about eating flowers. I’m betting it’s because of the drought. They like green leaves and not much is green now, other than trees.
The speckled brown bird at the bottom of the feeder is a Chipper Sparrow. Goldfinch get along well with all finches and most small birds. They avoid the pushy bigger birds, like doves or Blue Jays.