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Lawrence’s Goldfinch

These birds are named after American ornithologist George Newbold Lawrence.

Among the interesting things about Lawrence’s Goldfinches are its preference for hot, dry habitats, its breeding range being limited to California and Baja California, and its ability to mimic the songs of other birds. Like other goldfinches, the Lawrence’s Goldfinch occurs in large flocks during the winter, but also forages in flocks during the breeding season.

Lawrence’s Goldfinch nests are seldom parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds, probably because the diet fed to young goldfinches consists largely of seeds rather than the insects that young cowbirds require.


Description of the Lawrence’s Goldfinch


The Lawrence’s Goldfinch is sexually dimorphic, though both sexes have some yellow on the breast, and a short, conical bill.

Males have gray upperparts and flanks, a black forehead and throat, yellow underparts, and large yellow patches on the wings.  Length: 5 in.  Wingspan: 9 in.

Lawrences Goldfinch

Photograph © Tom Grey.


Females are somewhat similar, but lack the black cap and throat, have less yellow on the underparts and wings, and are slightly browner above.

Seasonal change in appearance

Winter birds are browner above.


Juveniles are streaked.


Lawrence’s Goldfinches inhabit oak and pine woodlands and stream sides, often being found near water.

Lawrences Goldfinch

Female Lawrences Goldfinch – Photograph © Tom Grey.


Lawrence’s Goldfinches eat seeds and insects.


Lawrence’s Goldfinches forage in low weeds, as well as trees and shrubs.


Lawrence’s Goldfinches breed in California and winter somewhat farther south and east into Arizona and Mexico. The population is not well monitored but may be declining.

More information:

Bent Life History

Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Lawrence’s Goldfinch.

Fun Facts

Lawrence’s Goldfinches sometimes nest in loose colonies.

The Lawrence’s Goldfinch’s winter range is erratic, extending father east in some years than others.


The song consists of a rapid, musical warble.  A bell-like call is given as well.


Similar Species

American Goldfinch
Male American Goldfinches lack a black throat, and females are more yellow than gray above. Winter female American Goldfinch similar to winter female Lawrence’s,  Lawrence’s has more yellow on chest and in wings.

Lesser Goldfinch
Lesser Goldfinches lack a black throat, and females (below) are more yellow than gray above. Note dark bill on Lesser Goldfinch, light bill on Lawrence’s.


The Lawrence’s Goldfinch’s nest is a cup of grasses, flowers, and feathers. It is placed in a tree.

Number: Usually lay 4-5 eggs.
Color: Whitish, sometimes with darker markings.

Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 12-13 days, and fledge at about 11-13 days, though remaining dependent on the adults for some time.


Bent Life History of the Lawrence’s Goldfinch

Published by the Smithsonian Institution between the 1920s and the 1950s, the Bent life history series of monographs provide an often colorful description of the birds of North America. Arthur Cleveland Bent was the lead author for the series. The Bent series is a great resource and often includes quotes from early American Ornithologists, including Audubon, Townsend, Wilson, Sutton and many others.

Bent Life History for the Lawrence’s Goldfinch – the common name and sub-species reflect the nomenclature in use at the time the description was written.


(The author’s field work on this and the following species at the Hastings Natural History Reservation was facilitated greatly by the generosity of the late Frances Simes Hastings. For further information on both species see Linsdale (1957).)

Lawrence’s goldfinch is one of the several species of birds restricted largely to the drier, interior parts of California. Fitted to live where the seeds it eats and the water it requires may be far from the trees where it nests, this species is the most striking of the goldflnches in California, although not the most plentiful. Noteworthy characteristics include the sharp limitation of its range, the irregularity of its occurrence, its affinity for hot and dry situations, the prominence of seeds of native plants in its food, its dependence on water, the permanence of the flocks, the long period through which the birds remain paired, and the peculiarities in its nesting that appear to be related to these traits.

From Sonoma County along the coast and from Trinity and Shasta counties inland, this bird nests southward into Lower California. In winter some of the birds move southeastward across Arizona as far as New Mexico. In summer, especially northward, the species is not common, and its numbers in one place tend to vary considerably from year to year.

Ralph Hoffmann (1927) writes that “birds are as a rule so regular in their habits that a student can find year after year a pair of birds which may have traveled a thousand miles or more to and from their winter home and yet returned to the same spot to breed. It is interesting, therefore, and puzzling to find a few birds like the Lawrence Goldfinch which are more gypsylike. A valley in southern California may be filled with the black-chinned gray-bodied birds one summer and the next year contain not one. * * * It is a bird of the foothills or mountain valleys, particularly from Los Angeles County southward.”

Lawrence’s goldfinches occur in summer in Lower California, nesting as far south as Laguna Hanson, on the Sierra Ju~.rez (Huey, 1928). The same observer found the species at La Grulla, San Pedro Mftxtir. On Feb. 25, 1925, he saw about 100 birds near lat. 300301, the southernmost locality for the species. The birds are sometimes abundant in winter on the lower Colorado River. Glenn Bradt (MS.) found a nest in Arizona at Cienega Springs, near Parker, about Mar. 15, 1952. The young left the nest on or about April 17.

Van Rossem (1911) found this goldfinch nearly as common as green-backed goldfinches in late March near Mecca at the north end of the Salton Sea, but they were not yet in pairs and specimens showed no signs of sexual activity. Lawrence’s goldfinches have been reported on Catalina Island in May and on Santa Cruz Island in April in different years (Howell, 1917).

Observations on the Hastings Reservation in Monterey County, Calif., indicate that the kind and amount of seeds produced each year are important in determining the number of goldflnches present and the length of their stay. They seem to eat the native plants more than the plants introduced to the area. The changes in vegetation, especially the reduction in some of the weedy species with a trend toward stabilization, have tended to attract fewer goldfinches.

In the spring of 1938, annual plants were abundant and produced a heavy crop of small seeds suitable for goldfinches and other finches. Throughout the season the birds fed on them in large numbers. On the same slopes in the spring of 1955 the annual plants were so dwarfed they produced scarcely any seeds, and no goldftnches foraged there.

Courtship: One morning in mid-February a pair of Lawrence’s goldfinches lit in the top of a blue oak. The male sang for 2 minutes as he perched 2 feet away from the female. Next, the female flew down a canyon and the male followed. When he came within a foot of her, she would dive, closely followed by the male, and a moment later the two would shoot upward, the male still following closely. The birds flew out of sight in this manner.

After the middle of March 1938, from 50 to 200 Lawrence’s goldfinches were present on the Reservation daily for nearly a month. The large flocks foraged in afternoons on a south-facing slope. At intervals the whole flock stopped feeding and flew off to a fence or to an isolated blue oak where they perched and sang, usually facing into the sun. The birds seemed to be already paired, for the sexes usually perched together in couples.

Courtship display was observed frequently in April, the males perching near the females and extending the head and neck as they sang. In mid-April a pair of goldfinehes perched on a valley oak limb 7 feet above the ground. The singing male sat 6 inches from the female with his head outstretched and feathers compressed against the body.

By April 24 the goldflnches were clearly paired; the couples kept close together and followed each other. Singing and posturing among the Lawrence’s goldflnches on the afternoon of April 26 became more pronounced than earlier in the season. In a flock watched at this season the 20 birds were obviously paired. Ten or more times males flew at other males in efforts to drive them away from a particular female. This was always a Lawrence’s driving away another of the same species, except once when a green-backed male was driven. Usually a move of only 5 or 6 feet was required for the pursued bird to avoid another attack. Both birds would then settle on perches.

At midmorning on May 20 an observer watched a female quivering her wings before a male. The male took no notice, and the female kept flying up to him. On May 22 a male fed an adult female near a nest high in a tree. The quivering wings of the female spread less widely, and they moved less rapidly than the observer had detected in related species.

In the stage before the start of incubation the members of each pair are strongly attached to each other. The male stays with his mate constantly and drives off all interlopers. After incubation starts, the strength of the pair bond wanes. The male becomes less aggressive and his attacks on trespassers are relatively mild. But the female still defends her domain quite fiercely, and drives off all other goldflnches and other species as well.

When a nest-building female leaves the nest on a long trip she utters a flight call that appears to impel the male to follow her. Before short trips she gives no flight call and the male does not follow. The nest-tree is the male’s usual song perch, but he may sing from other nearby perches as well. When a strange male settled in a tree 40 feet from the nest-tree, the male owner of the nest chased the intruder away and sang while the female continued to gather material near the nest. After the female started incubating, the male sang from another tree 40 feet away.

Nesting: According to Dawson (1923) the nests of Lawrence’s goldfinch “are exquisite creations, highly varied in construction and sometimes quite picturesque. A dainty cup before me, an inch and a half in diameter and one in depth, is compacted of wool, flower-heads, fairy grasses, horse-hair, and feathers. Another, of coarser construction, boasts several additional ingredients, but dispenses with horsehair in favor of sheer feathers for lining. A third displays a garland of protruding and highly nutant grassheads, as chic as a Parisian bonnet. The female, naturally, disputes the intruder’s claim to such a piece of handiwork; but she does not often have to be lifted from the nest.”

Dawson (1923) reports that these birds colonize to some extent in isolated clusters or hedges of the Monterey cypress, and he found as many as 10 nests at once in two adjoining trees. He indicates that there is no flock impulse in the matter, for while some nests were still incompleted, others contained eggs, and still others had young. William Twisselman has told me of a similar colonial nesting of this goldfinch in a short hedge of cypress that formerly lined a road south of Salinas.

Wilson C. Hanna (MS.) found the earliest nest on April 1, in Coachella Valley barely above sea level. His latest nesting date is June 27 in San Bernardino County at over 5,000 feet. His highest altitude for a nest was 6,000 feet in Slover Canyon. Lie found nests from 3 feet to as high as 40 feet above the ground, with an average of about 15 feet. He usually found Lawrence’s goldfinch nesting in solitary pairs, but in 1943 he found a dozen nests in one small juniper on the Mohave Desert, a few in two other junipers a few feet away, and still others in sage (Artemisia tridentata) nearby. The site was in a stand of Joshua trees (Yucca breznjolia) at least a half mile from the nearest water.

One nest on the Hastings Reservation was 20 feet up in a slender 35foot blue oak on a steep east-facing slope. Observations were made here on the mornings of May 19 and 20. The nest was supported by small twigs and it was partly exposed. Building was by the female only, but the male was nearly always close by singing while she worked. The two birds seemed markedly aware of each other. The male appeared distressed when the female was not close by, and he nearly always followed her when she left the nest tree, but not when she collected material nearby. Her trips were in a different direction each time. Much of the material was lichen (Ramalina reticulata) picked from tree branches.

The second morning the female brought only small pieces of plant material, but she spent much time working around the nest and pressing her body against the sides. In midmorning she brought feathers. Throughout the nest building the male continued to sing while the female worked. He sang in flight when following her, but more persistently when perched near her at the nest. On the first morning the song was spontaneous, not in answer to any other male, and was usually delivered from one of several particular branches in the tree.

During this period each member of the pair often drove off strange goldflnches. The male was quick to chase other males, and the female pursued other females and sometimes strange males. Yet once another pair stayed in the vicinity of the nest for 5 minutes undisturbed, and another time a strange male followed the pair in and perched and sang within 3 feet of the nest while its owners paid no attention. Later the nesting pair followed a strange pair into the tree; the strange female drove off the female owner while the two males perched 9 inches apart without apparent antagonism.

The flocking habit is so strong in Lawrence’s goldfinch that a late nest-building pair was regularly followed to the nest by one or more goldflnches, usually of the same species, but sometimes by a greenbacked. While the nesting pair usually made some attempt to drive out the strangers, their pursuits tended to be mild and did not extend far. Evidently the impulse to follow other birds in flight and to join other individuals in a flock prevented the establishment of rigid isolation by the nesting pair to the exclusion of all other birds of the same species or even of the same sex.

Eggs: The number of eggs runs from three to six with four or five most frequently comprising the set. They are ovate in shape with some tendency to rounded ovate, and have very little lustre. They are very pale bluish-white and unmarked, although an occasional egg may be found with a few very small reddish brown spots.

The measurements of 50 eggs average 15.4 by 11.6 millimeters; the eggs showing the four extremes measure 17.3 by 12.0, 16.5 by 1~2.5, 14.2 by 11.2, and 14.7 by 10.7 millimeters.

Incubation: The incubating female goldfinch remains on the nest almost continuously except for short intervals when the male waits for her to leave after a feeding. At one nest in early stages of incubation, the female remained on the nest almost continuously and there was little variety in her activity. On seven days up to June 11, an observer spent 56 hours at this nest. Altogether the female was off the nest only 27 times for a total of 110 minutes or only 3.3 percent of the time. Of the 27 trips off the nest, 10 were for one minute or less, 7 for two minutes, 1 for three minutes, 2 for five minutes, 3 for six minutes, 1 each for seven, nine, thirteen, and thirty-three minutes. She made 16 of these trips before 7:15 a.m., 2 between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m., 3 between 11:00 a.m. and noon, and 6 between 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. In the same period the male made 57 trips to the nest, an average of 1 per hour. ï Young: Feeding of the young in the nest is at fairly uniform hourly intervals. This may be regulated by the time required to gather and prepare the food, and it may also be influenced by the hunger limits of the bird to be fed. Through the 11 days before two young left the nest on July 14, in 109 hours we recorded 139 feedings by a parent bird. The male fed the female 19 times, 6 times on the first day, 7 on the second, 4 on the third, 1 on the fourth, and 1 on the eleventh day. This shows the time required to change from the feeding pattern during incubation when the male delivers all food he brings to the nest to the female and she eats it. The first few days after hatching the tendency is for the female to take the food and deliver it to the young after the male leaves, and he has great difficulty reaching past the begging female to get food to the young. When the female no longer has to brood the young, she accompanies the male on trips for food. Both parents then tend to arrive at the nest together and to take turns in feeding the young. The male nearly always feeds first at the start, but later the female delivers food first almost as often as the male does.

Adults continue to feed the young intermittently for some time after they leave the nest. A post-nesting flock of nearly 50 Lawrence’s goldflnches, both adults and young, foraged along the edge of an abandoned field on the Reservation one early afternoon at the end of June. The flock kept in one small area where they fed mostly on the ground, picking up the ripened seeds then available from many annual plants. There was much flying about, and the food calls of the young were the most conspicuous sounds in the vicinity. The young birds, which appeared to outnumber the adults, seemed to feed themselves part of the time, but nearly every adult was closely followed by one or two young birds begging to be fed. Several young ones in chamise bushes pecked at the flowers, and two picked at leaves.

In late July a pair with two young out of the nest fed in a patch of chamise. The parents fed continuously on the newly ripened seeds in the tops of the bushes while their two young perched lower in the bushes between them. They changed perches from time to time and followed the adults chirping loudly and quivering their wings. One young bird fluttered its wings in a wide arc, but the movement involved only the distal parts. The female then fed this bird by regurgitation about eight successive times. When she seemed to gulp more food herself between deliveries, the juveniles made the loudest outcries and fluttered hardest.

Another July morning a female fed a young Lawrence’s goldfinch on a road. The young bird followed the old one closely wherever she went. She picked nutlets from fiddleneck and fed them to the youngster. It would lunge at her, utter its tinkling call note several times, open its mouth, and rapidly flap its wings high over its back. At first she backed away, and then fed the young bird several times in succession.

On August 1 a female and a young bird foraging together on seeds were silent except for a few weak t8ip-tsip notes. The young bird then gave a continuous series of calls with a somewhat nasal quality, and the adult uttered one high-pitched, 2-part note. Although this young one was clearly associated with the adult, it picked its own food from the plants. It was rather clumsy and it lost its balance occasionally, but it was not fed by the parent.

Plumages: Adult male has anterior portion of head all round, including throat and forepart of crown, black; above brownish gray (the back sometimes tinged with olive green), changing to yellowish olive-green on rump; sides of head and lateral underparts paler brownish gray, becoming white on under tail coverts and abdomen; chest and median portion of breast yellow. Outer webs of wing coverts and remiges partly yellow; inner webs of rectrices (except middle pair) with subterminal white. Adult females are similar to adult males, but without black on head; the colors in general are duller, with the yellow less distinct. The juvenal plumage is similar to that of the adult female, with colors duller, the yellow on the breast less distinct, and upperparts obsoletely streaked.

Food: Lawrence’s goldflnches forage in flocks in patches of low, seed-bearing herbs and shrubs. Though they have been noted eating 20 different plant foods on the Hastings Reservation, they eat fewer kinds of seeds than do the green-backed goldflnches, and they forage over fewer types of plant associations. They concentrate in winter on chamise achenes, and in early summer they are closely restricted to the patches of fiddleneck that furnish most of their food through the nesting period.

For a month after mid-March 1938, large numbers of Lawrence’s goldfinches congregated with several other kinds of seed-eating birds, green-backed goldfinches, house finches, juncos, and lark sparrows, to forage in a vineyard on a south-facing gentle slope. Generally the Lawrence goldfinch outnumbered the other species in the flocks. At first the most conspicuous plants they fed on were red-maids. By the end of March other prominent annuals coming into seed were red-stem filaree, annual bluegrass, and common peppergrass. The birds showed a preference for the ripening seeds of peppergrass, and spent much time in the extensive patches of it. By April 15 they were eating seeds of shepherd’s purse.

The abundant chamise (Adenostoma jasciculatum) provides food for this bird from midsummer until late winter. One July morning a group of goldfinches fed in three bushes in an area 12 feet across. Perched in the highest branches 6 feet up and 8 feet apart, they fed quietly and continuously, keeping the body upright and reaching upward and forward to the clusters of flowers and ripening achenes. They stripped only the basal half of each head, thus taking the drier fruits and leaving the green ones.

One July day 10 or more Lawrence’s goldfinches foraged with two or three green-backed goldfinches on a tract that had been burned a year earlier. The Lawrence’s goldfinches fed only on the nutlets of the large prickly cryptantha (Cryptantha muricata) and were not seen that day on any other kind of plant. The green-backed goldfinches were eating mainly seeds of chia (Salvia columbariae) and Indian tobacco (Nicotia~ut bigelovii) and were not seen to eat the cryptantha, an interesting example of how closely related species sometimes contrast sharply in feeding habits, even while foraging together.

The common fiddleneck (Amcinckia intermedia) grew abundantly in the deserted hayfields for several years after the Reservation was established. Those were the years when the Lawrence’s goldfinch was most abundant. When the patches of fiddleneck became smaller, the number of nesting Lawrence’s goldfinches also declined. Continuous observations from early April to late July show the species depends more on this one food than on any other. Almost invariably a feeding goldfinch at that season is in a fiddleneck plant (Linsdale, 1950).

James L. Ortega (1945) saw on June 1 in southern California a female Lawrence’s goldfinch fly to a dove’s nest, puncture one egg, and eat its contents.

A. E. Culbertson (1946) saw in early August 1944 Lawrence’s goldfinches feeding on jumping galls (Neuroterus saitatornus) in a heavily infested stand of valley oaks (Quercu.s lobata) near Fresno, Calif. These leaf galls are about one millimeter in diameter and have an extremely thin, dry shell. They seem to jump as the larva within strikes rapidly against the inner wall. A flock of about 30 birds congregated and fed on the galls daily for 3 weeks. They picked up most of the galls from the ground, but when they were disturbed, the birds flew into the trees and picked the galls from the leaves.

Goldflnches show a fondness for salt, especially during the nesting season, and repeatedly visit saitlicks or other ground deposits of it. Peterson (1942) offered salt continuously in a partly wooded pasture on Mount Diablo. Lawrence’s goldfincbes came in flocks and covered the salt-saturated ground through the nesting season. They picked at crystals occasionally, but fed mostly from the soil within a foot of the block. By June they stopped coming.

Water: Though Lawrence’s goldfinches live in dry habitats, they require water nearly the year round. They drink from the creeks until these cease running, and then they search out overflow water from tanks, wells, and dripping faucets.

In early afternoon on October 22 a flock of more than 20 Lawrence’s goldflnches flew into two willows beside a water trough and uttered their thin, plaintive notes for about 12 minutes as they moved about in the dead branches. Finally two fluttered down to the edge of the trough and drank, and others followed immediately. For a few minutes there was great fluttering and flying back and forth between the two willows and the trough. At one time 12 were lined up along the end-board. As two or three left, others immediately took their places and drank. Each bird sipped rapidly, about once each 1¸ seconds, tipping its body to dip its beak in the water with its tail up, then throwing its head up and its tail down as it swallowed.

Lawrence’s goldfinch is fond of bathing when the opportunity offers, as in the shallow margins of creeks. Flocks going down to water tend to gather around the bolder individuals that land first, as though requiring a nucleus. After splashing about, the birds usually fly up to open perches in the sun or vines or willow branches to sit and preen with feathers fluffed out to dry. Lawrence’s goldfinches seem to preen more than other passerine birds studied on the Reservation.

Voice: Ridgway (1877) reports that this bird “uttered very pleasant and quite peculiar notes.” According to A. A. Allen (1932) the songs of this goldfinch are lower in pitch and somewhat rougher than the songs of the other species, and it has among its call notes a harsh kee-yerr that is quite different from the notes of the others. J. Grinnell (1912) noted several pairs in early May at Glendora, Calif., “with their wheezy notes.” Grinnell and Storer (1924) characterized the song of the male as weak but varied and distinctive, and the call notes single, low, and with a tinkling quality. They point out that the song and clear, bell-like call notes are so distinctive as to provide, after once learned, the readiest means of identification.

The male’s song in spring is high and melodious with many clear notes, but seemingly higher in pitch and weaker in volume than that of the green-backed goldfinch. Its main function appears to be the establishment and maintenance of the pair bond. He sings malnly when he is near the female, and his tones are richest during courtship. He sings more continuously during the nest-building period than some other small birds, though his song seems less strident then. He also sings when attacking other males.

Flocking Lawrence’s goldfinches usually keep up a nearly continuous twitter of thin clear-notes, high in pitch, but varied and musical. In the autumn this tinkling twittering is occasionally accented when one or two birds break into a series of high-pitched, rapid, ascending and descending trills, often punctuated by longer clear notes, churrs, and stutterings, some of which have a distinctly finchilke slur.

Field marks: Lawrence’s goldfinch is a small, grayish bird about half the size of a junco. The yellow on the under parts is restricted to the breast; the outer surface of the wing is marked with yellow and white which shows in flight. The flight feathers and tail are chiefly black. The male may be recognized by the black markings encircling the flesh-colored bill which, as he faces the observer, give him a hooded appearance in winter as well as summer plumage. The female is a duller grayish brown, with a bare suggestion of the white markings of the male.

Enemies: Sharp-shinned and Cooper hawks occur frequently where Lawrence goldfinches live. Even though pursuits are seen often, the goldfinches nearly always escape. Scrub jays threaten them, especially in the nesting season when they are regularly on the lookout for vulnerable nests. One midmorning in July a fence lizard (&eloporu.~ occider4alis) climbed up the nest limb of a pair of Lawrence’s goldfinches and up the side of the nest; it paused at the rim, looked into the nest, turned back, and retraced its path back down the limb without touching its contents.

Winter: Miss Emily Smith (MS.) has observed that Lawrence~s goldfinches occasionally winter in the Santa Clara Valley. On Jan. 8, 1948, near Los Gatos, a flock contained about 20 singing birds. The species sometimes remains through the winter on the Hastings Reservation, but the first one observed in the winter of 1950: 51 was recorded on January 30.

In some winters Lawrence’s goldflnches tend to move south and eastward through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Winter status of the birds in recent years is indicated by evidence summarized from Audubon Field Notes. Gale Monson (1951a) reported a flight of Lawrence’s goldfinches southeastward from their summer range, in the fall of 1950. They were common at Tucson, and the species was present on November 30 at Tumacacori National Monument, Ariz. The birds were present at El Paso after November 16, including a flock of 42 at Ascarate Lake on December 2. Monson (19Mb) says that in late winter this bird is common in lowland areas, including the Rio Grande Valley from Las Cruces, N. Mex., to Fabens, Tex., the last ones being seen at El Paso on March 20. That was the 3rd year in 20 they had visited the Rio Grande.

In the early winter of 1951 the Lawrence’s goldfinches made another eastward flight. About 20 were noted at Tucson on November 4, at Liberty, Ariz., on November 12, and on the Colorado River Indian Reservation on November 9 (Monson, 1952a). In 1953 a flight of this species to central and southern Arizona developed, with records after October 3 at Tucson, Peoria, Wikieup, Hereford, and in Sonora (Monson, 1954a). In 1953: 54 more than 50 Lawrence’s goldflnches wintered in the El Paso area; nearly 170 were seen at Tucson, January 2, and more than 23 were still present at Tempe by March 17 (Monson, 1 954b). That spring these birds were widely reported in southern California.

Range: California, southern Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico, south to northwestern Mexico and extreme western Texas.

Breeding range: T he Lawrence’s goldfinch breeds in California west of the Sierra Nevada (Hyampom southeast to Santa Rosa Mountains) and in northern Baja California (Sierra Ju~rez, Sierra San Pedro M6.rtir). Casual in summer in southwestern New Mexico (Silver City).

Winter range: Winters from north-central California (San Francisco, Marysville), southern Nevada, central Arizona (Fort Mohave, near Prescott, Phoenix, Paradise), and southwestern and central southern New Mexico (Fort Bayard, Las Cruces) south to northern Baj a California (20 miles south of San Quintin, Cocopah Mountains), northern Sonora (Tecoripa), and western Texas (El Paso).

Egg dates: California: 74 records, April 1 to July 10; 38 records, May 1 to May 30.

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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