Leon M. Lederman Science Education Center

Nest Construction Permit
Tenant: Amercan Goldfinch

NEST TYPE Small cup nest incubator
BUILDING SITE Built in several upriht branches or in fork of tree limb. Placed 1 to 30 feet above ground.
HABITAT Open deciduous and riparian woods; weedy and cultivated fields with scattered trees; towns, farms.
OWNER Mr. and Mrs. Carduelis tristis (AMERICAN GOLDFINCH)
ARCHITECT/BUILDER Mrs. American Goldfinch (Mr. Goldfinch only helps in site selection; his main duties are to feed the mother and stand guard while she is working).
HEIGHT 2 3/4 inches
DEPTH 1 5/8 inches
MATERIALS OF CONSTRUCTION Neat cup of flexible vegetable fibers lined with downy material and often woven so tightly that it may hold water. Spider silk used to bind nest foundation to branch. Other onsite and available materials as approved by architect (i.e., Mrs. Goldfinch).
HEATING SYSTEM Body heat from brood spot on the underside of female's body (patch of skin plucked bare that covers a rich supply of blood vessels, which supplies heat to the eggs).
INSULATION (may also conceal eggs from predators, shed water, deter pests, and cushion) Plant downs such as thistle and cattail
ESTIMATED ENERGY INPUT FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION (LABOR ONLY) Data on food sources is too varied to predict daily energy requirements. Main foods are seeds from annual plants. Nest takes from about 4 to 15 days to complete.
OCCUPANCY July to end of September to coincide with maturing thistle seeds (weather dependent)
FREQUENCY OF USE 1 brood per season