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European Goldfinch - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by nigelblake
Carduelis carduelis

Identification

L. 12-13 cm
W. 21-25 cm
Weight of 14 to 19 grams

  • Red face
  • Black and white head
  • Warm brown upperparts
  • White underparts with buff flanks and breast patches
Juvenile
Photo © by cango
Tyresö, Sweden, 2012
  • Black and yellow wings.
  • Ivory bill
  • Forked tail

Sexes similar but male has a larger red mask reaching just beyond the eye in some individuals. The feathers covering the top of the beak are generally black or dark brown in males and light tan to white in females and this holds true for juveniles and adults. Some individuals are intermediate and difficult to sex in the field.
Juveniles

  • Plain head
  • Greyer back
  • Unmistakable due to the yellow wing stripe

Distribution

Breeds throughout Europe, north Africa, and Asia. Mainly resident, but migrates from colder regions.

Introduced to South America. Australia, New Zealand, and USA (Wisconsin and Illinois).

Taxonomy

Subspecies

Photo © by Acorn
UK

There are 12 subspecies[1]:

Habitat

Weedy fields, gardens.

Behaviour

Can form large single species winter flocks, or be found flocking with other finches.

Diet

The main diet consists of seeds, particularly from thistles and teasels, insects are fed to the young. A regular visitor to garden bird feeders.

Breeding

The nest is placed in the fork of a small tree or bush. It is made from dead grass, rootlets, thistledown, wool and cobwebs. The clutch consists of 5 bluish-white eggs which are covered in grey and brown spots. Incubation lasts about 2 weeks, the young fledging after a further 2 weeks.

There may be up to 3 broods in a season which runs from April to September.

Vocalisation

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Bird Watching

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.

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