I was out raking leaves last week when I looked up and saw this American Goldfinch sitting on my birdbath no more than a few feet away from me. It was quite startling that he was so close and I wondered for a second if he might be injured or ill. He just sat there, so I went inside and grabbed my camera and was able to get a rare close-up.
After watching him for a few minutes, I was pretty sure the bird was not ill or injured. Other than letting me get close (a few feet, not close enough to touch), the bird seemed to be behaving normally. He is puffed up in this picture, but didn’t stay like that for an extended period of time. He was moving around the edge of the birdbath and drinking water, and after about 5 minutes flew up to the feeder and ate and then flew into the nearby trees. Nothing suggested the bird was in serious trouble. I’m leaning towards this being either a juvenile or a regular at my feeders that has just gotten used to me being around.
These birds are the most common ones at my feeders all through the winter. And looking outside my window right now, there is no doubt winter will be here soon enough!