Editor’s Note: This is a shell account and still needs to be completed, but is a species we plan to cover.
Lawrence’s Goldfinch Spinus lawrencei (Cassin 1852)
Natural History: – In year-to-year movements, it is perhaps even more erratic than other goldfinches, and, is like crossbills and the Pine Siskin in site fidelity. Shows a strong preference for seeds of the Boraginaceae, particularly fiddleneck, which is almost invariably used when available in spring (Linsdale 1950). Seeds (mature and in milky stage) of fiddleneck are a major food source. In fact, presence of fiddleneck may partly determine breeding range and nesting sites of the species (e.g., Linsdale 1957). In winter, diet varies mostly by region. In much of California, achenes of chamise are eaten predominantly (Gander 1930, Martin et al. 1951, Linsdale 1957), with lesser amounts of annual seeds and berries such as mistletoe (Phoradendron spp.) and coffeeberry (Linsdale 1957).
Object of study: mimicry in song
Flight call: – tink-ul and a pi-bi-dee and not easily confusable with other goldfinches.
Irruptions: – In some winters, the species irrupts into Arizona, New Mexico, and even into western Texas and northern Mexico, but in other winters, it is virtually absent from those areas.
FiRN Needs: Recordings from the entire distribution area would be appreciated.