Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis

    Description

    A highly coloured finch with a bright red face and yellow wing patch. Sociable, often breeding in loose colonies, they have a delightful liquid twittering song and call. Their long fine beaks allow them to extract otherwise inaccessible seeds from thistles and teasels.

    They can be sexed by the amount of red extending beyond the eye to the back of the head.

    Identification difficulty
    Habitat

    Anywhere there are scattered bushes and trees, rough ground with thistles and other seeding plants. Likes orchards, parks, gardens, heathland and commons. Less common in upland areas and most numerous in southern England.

    When to see it

    All year round

    Life History

    Increasingly they are visiting bird tables and feeders. In winter many UK goldfinches migrate as far south as Spain.

    UK Status

    Common and widespread in Britain

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland as a breeding bird.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map