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Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis

The goldfinch is a striking, small finch of gardens, parks, woodland, heathland and farmland. It eats small seeds, especially from ragwort, dandelions and teasels (their long, pointed bills help them to extract the seeds), as well as invertebrates. It will visit birdtables and feeders, too. During winter, goldfinches roam about in flocks of up to 100 birds, searching for food. However, some of our UK birds will migrate as far south as Spain to avoid the worst of the harsh weather.

Conservation status

Common. Classified in the UK as Green under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015). Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

Related questions & advice

How can I attract goldfinches into my garden?

Details

Did you know?
  • Vast numbers of goldfinches were trapped as songbirds during the Victorian era, causing their population to crash.
  •  The collective name for a group of goldfinches is a charm.
  •   Alternative names for the goldfinch include - gold linnet, King Harry and redcap.
  •   Male goldfinches have longer beaks than females, allowing them to feed on teasels.
  •   The scientific name of the goldfinch is linked to the thistle, a favourite food of goldfinches.
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