Goldfinches used to be commonly kept as caged birds because of their colourful plumage and enchanting singing.

This is an unusual and special landscape where you can enjoy a vast expanse of open heathland and old oak woodland and home to BBC Autumnwatch 2016

DESCRIPTION: European Goldfinch is one of the most colourful birds of our yards.

A pair of Goldfinches appeared in the next door neighbour's apple tree for a few minutes at the beginning of December 1999. I bought a feeder and filled it with niger seed, and waited with fingers crossed.... A pair started to visit daily in June 2000 to eat sunflower hearts and niger seed - the latter being their favourite by far.

A section of the Clyde Walkway that collapsed into the river due to erosion has been replaced by a new path at RSPB

Now the commonest and most widespread UK bird of prey. It is quite large with broad, rounded wings, and a short neck and tail.

Recommended citation BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Carduelis carduelis. Downloaded from on 02/11/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 02/11/2016.

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The goldfinch is often depicted in Italian renaissance paintings of the Madonna and Child.

Jenni, L.; Kery, M. 2003. Timing of autumn bird migration under climate change: advances in long-distance migrants, delays in short-distance migrants. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 270(1523): 1467-1471.

A single hen harrier chick has successfully fledged at RSPB Geltsdale for the first time in a decade.

ReferencesBirdLife International. 2004. Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

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Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Fr: Chardonneret élégant All : Stieglitz Esp : Jilguero Europeo Ital : Cardellino eurasiatico Nd : Putter Russe : Черноголовый щегол Sd : Steglits

They make the most use of our gardens at the same time in late spring every year - between returning from their wintering grounds and the start of breeding, and at a time when natural food resources are at their lowest. More interestingly, this finch is increasingly using garden bird feeders, this may be because natural resources are in steady decline or more gardens are offering niger seed and sunflower hearts, which are both high energy foods that Goldfinches seem to prefer.

Create an underground den where frogs, toads and newts can find safe lodging through the winter's chill.

Antonio Vivaldi composed a Concerto in D major for Flute "Il Gardellino" (RV 428, Op. 10 No. 3), where the singing of the goldfinch is imitated by a flute.

The song is a pleasant silvery twittering. The call is a melodic tickeLIT, and the song is a pleasant tinkling medley of trills and twitters, but always including the trisyllabic call phrase or a teLLIT-teLLIT-teLLIT.

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Breeds in mixed woodland, orchards, parks, commons, gardens and pine plantations (2) (3) where there are thistles and other plants that produce seeds (3).

The delightful song is a composition of this call and other rattling notes and is sometimes accompanied by the "pivoting display" in which the male drops its wings slightly and pivots from side to side.

The average goldfinch is 12–13 cm (4.7–5.1 in) long with a wingspan of 21–25 cm (8.3–9.8 in) and a weight of 14 to 19 g (0.49 to 0.67 oz). The sexes are broadly similar, with a red face, black and white head, warm brown upperparts, white underparts with buff flanks and breast patches, and black and yellow wings.

Nature organisations make the case for fundamental reform of farm policy in the UK

During spring goldfinches often display whilst sitting on branches, singing, drooping the wings and swaying from side to side (6). Between four and six eggs are produced and these take up to 14 days to incubate. The young goldfinches will have fledged after 13 to 18 days (3).

European Goldfinch

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For more information on the goldfinch and other bird species:

Niger seed and teasels may attract them in gardens, especially if there are no fields nearby with thistles and dandelions, but they will also feed on sunflower hearts.

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They are now regular visitors throughout much of the year.

Juveniles are generally a dull brown with darker streaking on the body, and lack the red, black and white markings on the head.

Leighton Moss is the largest reedbed in north-west England, and home to some really special birds such as breeding bitterns, bearded tits and marsh harriers.

Come along to a family Wild Wood Experience on the Eastern Moors.

The European Goldfinch builds a cup-shaped nest in low bushes.

Some of our breeding birds migrate to the south-western Europe, e.g. France and Spain. Interestingly, many more of these birds are females than males, and birds that migrate one year will not necessarily migrate in others. The autumn population is increased by the passage of European birds down eastern Britain.

RSPB Minsmere is a fantastic coastal nature reserve that's perfect for families and host to BBC Springwatch.

A wildlife-friendly compost heap provides a satisfying feast for woodlice and worms, and their predators.

The cup-shaped nest is built by the female with moss, grass and lichen, and lined with wool and plant down. The nest is usually in a tree towards the end of a branch or in a bush, and often in large gardens and orchards, but also in open woodland and hedgerows.

Conservation action has not been targeted at the goldfinch.