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[All pictures of garden wildlife on this page are thumbnails. Click on any thumbnail for a large format to be displayed.]

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)


Clickhere for the bird's sound.

Goldfinch is a rare visitor in my garden so it's been a challenge to get photos of it. The photos on this page have been taken in my friends' garden in France,

This is a very beautiful finch. However in the past ten years I have not seen it more than 3 times in my garden, for a short time only and always in a large, migrating flock. Yet the bird is not shy, as I know that for instance in the middle of city of Cologne (Germany) large groups are present all year round in densely populated areas. Maybe the environment that my garden and its surroundings offer too much vegetation for the Goldfinch to feel attracted to it. The name of the bird in Dutch means water-drawer. This is a peculiar name of course, but it has a fascinating story to it. In the Middle Ages in Europe people used to keep birds in cages. Now exotic birds like canaries were hard to come by, so people caught local birds, like Chaffinches, and put them in cages. They did the same with the Goldfinch. At a ceratin moment someone noticed that this bird could do a trick: you provided it with an imitation well, put the water deep down below, made a miniature bucket and put that on a rope and the Goldfinch would pull up the rope with its beak in order to get to the water. What a smart bird!

This bird belongs to the family of Finches (Fringillidae). It is very rare in our garden and can be seen in Holland all year round. The bird is 5" and weighs 16 grams. It lives in orchards, woodlands, parks and gardens mostly. It eats seeds and small insects. The sexes do not differ from one another. The Goldfinch makes a nest in trees, bushes or shrubs, sometimes up to thrice a year. Each time some four to six eggs are produced. These do hatch after 13 days. The young are ready to discover the world outside the nest after some 15 days.

The striking colours and pattern make Goldfinch easy to identify. Line

Name of this bird in various other languages
Dutch German French Polish Scientific
Putter Stieglitz Chardonneret élégant Szczygiel Carduelis carduelis

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