Birds Of Southern California

Lawrence's Goldfinch (Spinus lawrencei)

Though the Lawrence's Goldfinch has been recorded here in Orange County year round, it's sightings during times of the year are infrequent. The best timeframe according to eBird is late February through June. Common places to find this species in the recent past have been the Santa Ana Cemetery, El Toro Memorial Park and surrounding areas such as at the end of Peachwood Drive and also the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park to name a few. Their range has been recorded is as far east as New Mexico and as far north as Washington those these areas are far less frequent and only during certain seasons. Here's more from Wikipedia: At about 4.75 in (12.1 cm) long and weighing about 0.4 oz (11 g), it is slightly bigger than the lesser goldfinch and slightly smaller than the American goldfinch, with less yellow in the plumage than either. Adults of both sexes are gray with pink to grayish flesh-color bills, stubbier than other goldfinches'. They have yellow rumps and paired yellowish wing-bars, as well as yellow edges on the flight feathers and yellow on the breast. The tail is black, crossed by a white band. Plumage is duller in winter, brightening after a spring molt. Males are paler, with black caps and faces and larger areas of brighter yellow. Females are browner, have less and duller yellow, and lack the black. Juveniles resemble females but are even duller and have faint streaks on the upperparts and especially the underparts. Calls include "a nasal too-err, also a sharp, high PIti and Itititi".[2] The flight call, which is diagnostic, is given as "a high, clear ti-too"[2] or tink-ul "reminiscent of glass wind-chimes".[4] The song is high-pitched, continuous, and limited in frequency range, including wind-chime notes and especially imitations of other species' calls and other simple and distinctive sounds.[2][4] Males sing in winter but mostly in the breeding season. Females sing occasionally and briefly. Lawrence's goldfinch is known for its wandering habits. It breeds from about Shasta County, California to northern Baja California, largely in the Coast Ranges and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and in the Baja highlands, but also sometimes as far down as the coast; its highest breeding altitude is about 8,800 ft (2,700 m) on Mount Pinos. There are only a few places where it has been observed to nest annually, notably the Carmel Valley and the South Fork Kern River. Choice of areas in its breeding range may depend on climate through the availability of water and preferred foods. Movements to the coast and upslope in the Sierras occur in drought years and movements to the edges of the range and into the Central Valley after wet years, possibly because of an increased food supply. It has bred a few times in Arizona.[4] Most, but not always all, birds leave northern, central, and inland southern California in winter. They move into the coastal lowlands and into the lower parts of the southeastern California deserts, ranging irregularly (sometimes in large numbers) southeastward to northern Sonora and northwestern Chihuahua and eastward to the southern half of Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and even the area of El Paso, Texas[4]—roughly the Madrean Sky Islands region. In some winters mysteriously few birds are observed; possibly the birds are in Sonora and Chihuahua, which are poorly covered by naturalists. The greatest eastward irruptions often occur in wet periods and are synchronized with irruptions of other seedeating birds such as the red-breasted nuthatch, the red crossbill, and the other North American goldfinches.[4] The typical nesting habitat is dry and open woods that are near both brushy areas and fields of tall annual weeds, usually within 0.5 mi (0.80 km) of a small body of water. It may nest in other habitats, including rural residential areas, but not in deserts or dense forests. Outside the nesting season it occurs in many open habitats including deserts, suburbs, and city parks. Additional info can be found here:'s_goldfinch