Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

Goldfinch video by Maurice Baker.

Goldfinch Facts

  • Scientific name: Carduelis carduelis

  • Family: Finches and Buntings

  • Wingspan: 21 - 25cm (4 1/2")

  • Diet: Mainly seeds and insects

  • Feed with: Niger seed is ideal

  • Habitat: Goldfinches are most commonly seen in the southern parts of England. Their favorite places to be include bushes and trees, seeding plants and thistle-laden ground. During particularly bad spells of weather, it is not unknown for goldfinches to migrate further south.

  • Lifespan: 6 Years

  • Goldfinch Characteristics

    The stunning goldfinch is one of the most abundant and colourful finches on the British isles. With a bright red face that contrasts beautifully with a black and white head and yellow wing bars, the goldfinch also features subtle a brown mantle and and flanks with a white-ish underpart.

    Both male and female goldfinches are similar, except that the male red colouration stands slightly behind its eyes.

    Conservation Status of the Goldfinch

    The Goldfinch is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List

    The Goldfinch is classified as Least Concern

    Goldfinch Feeding

    Owing to the thin and light-weight bill of the goldfinch, the primary diet is of seed, which can be from many different varieties of tree, including birch and alder

    Ideal wild bird food for goldfinches include niger seed and sunflower hearts. They will feed from both hanging feeders and bird tables.

    Hear more bird sounds at the BBC audio guide to common British birds.

    Goldfinch Breeding & Nesting

    Goldfinch nests are built exclusively by the female and comprise mainly of moss, lichen and grass. The interior of the nest is lined with materials such as plant down and wool. The nest is like a cup-shaped bowl. It is common to find goldfinch nests in large garden, on the end of branches and buried within hedgerows.

    Gold finch eggs are pale blue, glossy and smooth and are about 18mm in length. Breeding starts in late April, the incubation period lasts for between 10 - 14 days and then around 15 fledge days. Both parents work together to feed the young.

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