Carduelis carduelis



A striking, pretty little bird, with a black and white head, red face and yellow bars on the wings flash in flight.

Males have slightly more red on their face than the females. Juveniles are browner in colour.

Size: 12cm head to tail. Weight: 14-17g


1.2 million pairs present across the UK, though not in the far North of Scotland.


The female build a neat compact nest, it has a deep cup shape and maybe lined with wool. They may adorn the outside with moss lichens and downy thistle. Nests are sited in the leaves at the edge of branches, often in tall trees.

The female lays 4-6 eggs with whitish red speckles. The male goldfinch brings her food whilst she is sitting.

Young are fed on regurgitated plant seeds.


2 years


Small seeds, eg. thistle, teasel, dandilion.

Forms flocks ( a ‘charm’ of goldfinches) in the winter to travel and feed readily from bird tables and feeders.

Attracted by, sunflower hearts and nyjer seeds.