Goldfinch – Carduelis carduelis

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.

Identification

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.
Size: 11.5–12.5cm.
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.
Flocking:
Flight: Undulating.
Voice: Sweet, tinkling sound.

Breeding

Nest: Bushes.
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.

Suggested feed

Countrywide Goldfinch and Siskins Mix, Countrywide Niger Seed.

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