The Goldfinch is one of the largest of the finch family and is highly coloured and sociable, often breeding in loose colonies, which are collectively called a ‘charm of goldfinches’. They are resident across the UK, apart from far northern and western areas of Scotland, though in the winter many migrate as far south as Spain.
Adult: The adult Goldfinch is easily identified by its distinctive face pattern of crimson, white and black. Its wings are black with a bright yellow patch which is visible both at rest and in flight. It has a warm-brown back and a white rump also visible in flight.
Juvenile: The young Goldfinch lacks the facial patterns and colour of the adult bird, with its face a pale buff in colour.
Bill: Fine, long.
Legs: Buff, medium length.
Habitat: Gardens, where it is often seen feeding from bird tables and feeders. Also seen anywhere with bushes, trees and rough ground with thistles and other seeding plants.
Behaviour: Flits, takes off/lands on vegetation and ground.
Voice: Sweet, tinkling sound.
Eggs: 4–7. Black and spotted.
Incubation period: 12—14 days.
Fledgeling: 13—16 days.
Broods: 2. April—May.
Food: Insects, teasels, thistles, seeds, peanuts and pine nuts.
UK breeding pairs: 230,000.
Countrywide Goldfinch and Siskins Mix, Countrywide Niger Seed.