Yellow finches, or American goldfinches, migrate south in the winter and follow a pattern where January temperatures are not colder than 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Research conducted by the Cornell Laboratory of Birds indicates that the finches' migration patterns are not consistent and may depend on weather and competition for food.
American goldfinches may appear in areas one year when they did not appear the previous year, and they may move out of their normal range in search of more abundant food.
Goldfinches increase their feeding activity during the spring and summer, when they typically appear at feeders. As many as 25 to 100 goldfinches may visit a feeder per day. Goldfinches are known to be picky eaters and typically eat Niger and sunflower seeds. They may not visit a feeder consistently when natural food sources such as wild seeds, coneflowers and thistles are more commonly available.