Where's the Gold?
How do male American goldfinches regain their bright-yellow plumage so quickly in spring?
—Crystal Reibel, Memphis, Missouri
George: Actually, the transformation isn't as sudden as you'd think. American goldfinches molt into their bright-yellow spring and summer plumage over a period of many weeks. In fact, you may see goldfinches with spots of yellow on their dull olive-brown winter plumage as early as late January or February. It's a sure sign of spring.