Belongs to: finches

Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis


Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Attractive brightly coloured finch, once trapped and caged for its liquid song

Habitat: gardens, woods, fields, hedges; now doing well probably because of niger seed in garden feeders

Widespread and common, some birds resident but many wintering in France and Iberia

Recognition

Crimson, white and black face pattern; broad yellow band on black wings; 11–12 cm

Gregarious; small flocks are a familiar sight feeding on thistles and other tall weeds in autumn

Often twitter in flight, and sing their sweet song openly from a high perch when breeding 

Lifecycle

Neat nest of roots, grass, moss and lichen, usually in a spreading tree

Usually 2, sometimes 3, broods May–August; 5 or 6 pale blue eggs, spotted brown

  • Main photo

Photo © Alan Williams