Okay, still can’t name the bird? The first clue was “thistle”. They eat a lot of thistle. You can buy thistle (nyjer) seed feeders especially for these birds. Very common feeders, very common seed. A common bird in the middle tier of states in the U.S. all year around, in summer they also move north into the northern tier of U.S. states and southern Canada. In winter they move into the southern U.S. states and cross the border into the very northern part of Mexico.
More clues – they love sunflower seeds and where there are sunflowers you will find these little birds clinging to them to feed.
In places where they live all year, some think they have migrated away in winter months. But that’s because the male’s plumage changes from bright to drab and many do not recognize him in his winter fashion.
And if you still don’t know …. this one should be a dead giveaway …. some erroneously call the species “wild canaries”.
What bird is it?