The American goldfinch indicates its degree of aggression through multiple displays. The head-up display, where the neck and legs are slightly extended, shows mild aggression, and is often performed by the victor of an encounter. The carpals-raised display has the neck retracted and the carpals raised; displayers are likely to attack their opponent. The head-forward display is where the legs are flexed, the neck extended, and the beak closed. At higher intensities, the neck is lowered, the beak is pointed at the opponent, and one or both wings are raised. In extreme cases, the neck is retracted, the bill opened, the body feathers sleeked, and the tail is fanned and raised slightly. Aggression is also displayed by showing the front of the body to another individual. Attacks include pecking at feathers, supplanting the opponent by landing next to it, and flying vertically with legs and feet extended, beaks open, and necks extended. Avoidance behaviors include showing only the side of the body to an aggressor, leaning away, flexing the legs, retracting the neck, and pointing the beak down.
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