American goldfinch are early this year in my backyard, harbingers of spring with their golden feathers looking for shelled sunflower seeds or thistle. In the fall they come back through and they love the seeds from my coneflowers that I don’t cut down so that they can feast on them. They are the only finch that loses its feathers two times a year. late breeders, July – September, the female builds a nest so tight that it can hold water her secret? spider web silk.