We've noticed that for a month in fall and spring the goldfinches vanish from our feeders. Does this have something to do with molting?
—Ron and Judy Lane, Independence, Kansas
George: Although American goldfinches grow a new set of feathers during molting periods in fall and spring, they continue to visit feeders during this time. However, goldfinches do travel around within an area whenever they're not nesting, and often seem to have completely disappeared. Even when these birds are abundant at feeders, they're actually moving a great deal—so much so that the goldfinches frequenting feeders in the morning are usually different birds from those at the same feeders in the afternoon.