Sunday, August 8, 2010


I was pretty sure the goldfinches were pulling off the coneflower petals, and now I have proof! The video may be a little shaky, but the evidence is rock solid.

Dear Mr. Goldfinch, I love your presence in our garden. I even had you in mind when planting all the coneflowers here. I hoped you'd enjoy the seeds. But hey, what's up with pulling off the petals? You don't even eat them. If you please, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd keep to the seeds, and leave our coneflower petals alone.

Of course I realize you'll most likely ignore this request, but I had to get it off my chest anyway. Thank you.


  1. Anonymous7:00 PM

    I haven't noticed them do that in my garden yet, but they usually don't come around until later in summer when the sunflowers are ready.

    I like the garden video.

  2. I have had everything else in my garden, I am surprised I do not have the goldfinches pulling off the petals of my coneflowers.


  3. Oh, Linda, come on! Clearly the finch is playing "She loves me, she loves me not!" Someone is breaking mine over mid stem--I'd say the groundhog but it might be raccoons... thought they why is anyone's guess.

  4. MBT, I wondered last summer who was picking the petals - now I know! Glad you enjoyed the video!

    Hi Eileen, Although I'm not thrilled about the naked coneflowers, goldfinches in the garden are a lot less destructive than some other critters I can think of!

    Monica, duh, why didn't I think of that. Of course that's what he's doing!

    The squirrels here have sometimes bent and broken the stems to get at the seeds. (Knock on wood,) so far they haven't done that this year - maybe because the coneflowers are more mature now and taller than they have been in previous years.

  5. Absolutely fascinating and sets one to wondering, the seeds at the outside edge ripen first so the petals are in the way and the finches remove them?

    Or is seed ripening normally delayed until all the petals have dropped and the finches have learned how to fool Mother Nature?


  6. Funny birds. I am sure they have a reason for that insanity though. We may never know.

  7. Dear Linda, did you ever consider that perhaps there was a Mrs Goldfinch? And that perhaps all those petals were a way of romanticizing my maiden? So, even though I admire your thoughtfulness (the seeds ain't that bad!), could you please consider planting a rosebush nearby, as I can't seem to score while using coneflower petals and playing Bon Jovi (Bed of Roses, naturally). Thanks in advance,

    the rueful Mr Goldfinch

  8. Smile, he just wants to put flowers on the ground you walk on... isn't that nice :o). You catched him really nice on the video!
    Greetings from Switzerland

  9. Maybe that's what's going on here! I just found out what was cutting off every last freaking sunflower bloom in my garden--black weevils. I have not a sunflower anywhere this year!

  10. I haven't caught any pulling off petals yet:) I see them checking out the seed heads but so far, they have been good little finchies.

  11. I want to believe Monica but I am pretty sure Annie is on the nose! gail They are pulling out the seeds before they're ripe here

  12. I think you may be onto something Annie! Both your hypotheses make sense. Smart, pretty little birds!

    I'm sure they must have a reason too Rosey. When I googled my question (why?)) I found that this seems to happen alot, but didn't find an explanation.

    Dear Mr. Goldfinch, (a/k/a Violet ;) I have seen you and your lady love attacking the coneflowers, and I'm not buying your explanation. I'll be adding a climbing rose to the garden this fall. You are welcome to as many seeds as you like, but please leave the petals alone.

    How considerate he is, Alex! ;|

    Oh dear, I'm sorry about your sunflowers Benjamin.

    I'm glad your little finchies are better-behaved than ours Marnie! The first couple of years after planting the coneflowers, rabbits chewed them to the ground before they bloomed, and some never came back. The next couple of years the squirrels jumped the blooms and either bent or broke the stems, and ate most of the blooms. Now the finches are having their way with the blooms.

    I want to believe Monica too, Gail. I love a good romance! But Annie's ideas sure make a lot of sense. They're pulling out unripe seeds here too. They visit the coneflowers and Herbstsonne rudbeckias off and on all day.

  13. Mr. G.'s defense attorney will have a hard time arguing against this evidence in court! I haven't seen the goldfinches do this to my coneflowers, but then they always fly away just as I come anywhere near them. Gee, my coneflowers are looking raggedy enough without someone pulling off their petals:)

  14. Yep, I think the evidence is pretty watertight Rose!

    They don't let me near them either. I used the zoom from all the way back on the patio to capture the video.

    Our coneflowers bloom later here because of all the shade, so they were still looking pretty good before the finches started picking them apart. Oh well, it's always something wreaking some kind of havoc!


Thank you for stopping by! Comments are welcomed, and while I may not always respond here, I'm happy to pay you a visit.

While comments are invited, links to commercial websites are not, and comments containing them will be deleted.

(Note to spammers: Don't bother. Your comments are promptly deleted. Hiding in older posts won't help - they're moderated.)