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Goldfinch by Robert Miller

Goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis

Key Facts

  • Length: 12-14cm
  • Wingspan: 24cm
  • Weight: 17g
  • Average Lifespan: 2 years

Goldfinches are striking, small finches of gardens, parks, woodland, heathland and farmland.

They eat small seeds, especially from Ragwort, Dandelions and Teasels (their long, pointed bills help them to extract the seeds), and also invertebrates. They 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.

How to Identify

Unmistakeable: Goldfinches are small, colourful finches, gingery-brown above and pale below, with black and yellow wings, a black crown, white cheeks and a bright red face.

Where to Find

Widespread.

How People Can Help

You can help to look after Goldfinches and other garden birds by providing food and water for them – it doesn’t matter if you have a big garden or live in a high-rise flat, there are plenty of feeders, baths and food choices out there to suit all kinds of situations. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there’s plenty of facts and tips to get you started. To buy bird food or feeders, visit the Vine House Farm website – an award-winning wildlife-friendly farm which gives 5% of all its takings to The Wildlife Trusts.

Did you know?

The collective noun for a group of Goldfinches is a ‘charm’ whereas a group of crows is known as a ‘murder’ and a group of owls as a ‘Parliament’. All quite fitting to our stereotypical views of these birds!

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