The European goldfinch or goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), is a small passerine bird in the finch family that is native to Europe, North Africa and western Asia. It has been introduced to other areas including Australia, New Zealand and Uruguay.
The breeding male has a red face and a black-and-white head. The back and flanks are buff or chestnut brown. The black wings have a broad yellow bar. The tail is black and the rump is white. Males and females are very similar, but females have a slightly smaller red area on the face.
|C. c. britannica in Wigan, UK|
|Male bird recorded in Gloucestershire, England|
|Carduelis carduelis carduelis|
1 summer 2 all year
Carduelis carduelis caniceps
3 summer 4 all year
Fringilla carduelis Linnaeus, 1758
The goldfinch was one of the birds described and illustrated by Swiss naturalist Conrad Gesner in his Historiae animalium of 1555. The first formal description was by Carl Linnaeus in the 10th edition of his Systema Naturae published in 1758. He introduced the binomial name, Fringilla carduelis. Carduelis is the Latin word for a goldfinch. The genus Carduelis was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 by tautonomy based on Linneus's specific epithet. Modern molecular genetic studies have shown that the European goldfinch is closely related to the citril finch, (Carduelis citrinella) and the Corsican finch, (Carduelis corsicana).
The English word 'goldfinch' was used in the second half of the 14th century by Geoffrey Chaucer in his unfinished The Cook's Tale: "Gaillard he was as goldfynch in the shawe (Gaily dressed he was as is a goldfinch in the woods)".
The subspecies are divided into two major groups. These intergrade at their boundary so the groups are not recognised as distinct species despite their readily distinguishable plumage. Subspecies in the carduelis group occupy the western part of the range and have black crowns; subspecies in the caniceps group occupy the eastern part of the range and have grey heads.
The goldfinch originated in the late Miocene-Pliocene and belongs to the clade of cardueline finches. The citril finch is its sister taxon. Their closest relatives are the greenfinches, crossbills and redpolls. The monophyly of the Carduelinae subfamily is suggested in previous studies.
The average goldfinch is 12–13 cm (4.7–5.1 in) long with a wingspan of 21–25 cm (8.3–9.8 in) and a weight of 14 to 19 g (0.49 to 0.67 oz). The sexes are broadly similar, with a red face, black and white head, warm brown upperparts, white underparts with buff flanks and breast patches, and black and yellow wings.
On closer inspection male goldfinches can often be distinguished by a larger, darker red mask that extends just behind the eye. The shoulder feathers are black whereas they are brown on the hen.In females, the red face does not extend past the eye. The ivory-coloured bill is long and pointed, and the tail is forked. Goldfinches in breeding condition have a white bill, with a greyish or blackish mark at the tip for the rest of the year. Juveniles have a plain head and a greyer back but are unmistakable due to the yellow wing stripe. Birds in central Asia (caniceps group) have a plain grey head behind the red face, lacking the black and white head pattern of European and western Asian birds. Adults moult after the breeding season with some individuals beginning in July and others not completing their moult until November. After moult birds appear less colourful, until the tips of the newly grown feathers wear away.
The song is a pleasant silvery twittering. The call is a melodic tickeLIT, and the song is a pleasant tinkling medley of trills and twitters, but always including the trisyllabic call phrase or a teLLIT-teLLIT-teLLIT.
The goldfinch is native to Europe, North Africa, and western and central Asia. It is found in open, partially wooded lowlands and is a resident in the milder west of its range, but migrates from colder regions. It will also make local movements, even in the west, to escape bad weather. It has been introduced to many areas of the world. It was introduced to Canada, United States, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile, the Falkland Islands, Uruguay, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, in the 19th century, and their populations quickly increased and their range expanded greatly. They now occur from Brisbane to the Eyre Peninsula in Australia, and throughout New Zealand.
The nest is built entirely by the female and is generally completed within a week. The male accompanies the female but does not contribute. The nest is neat and compact and is generally located several meters above the ground, hidden by leaves in the twigs at the end of a swaying branch. It is constructed of mosses and lichens and lined with plant down such as that from thistles. It is attached to the twigs of the tree with spider silk. A deep cup prevents the loss of eggs in windy weather. Beginning within a couple of days after the completion of the nest, the eggs are laid in early morning at daily intervals. The clutch is typically 4-6 eggs which are whitish with reddish-brown speckles. They have a smooth surface and are slightly glossy. The average size is 17.3 mm × 13.0 mm (0.68 in × 0.51 in) with a calculated weight of 1.53 g (0.054 oz). The eggs are incubated for 11–13 days by the female, who is fed by the male. The chicks are fed by both parents. Initially they receive a mixture of seeds and insects but as they grow the proportion of insect material decreases. For the first 7–9 days the young are brooded by the female. The nestlings fledge 13–18 days after hatching. The young birds are fed by both parents for a further 7–9 days. The parents typically raise two broods each year and occasionally three.
The goldfinch's preferred food is small seeds such as those from thistles (the Latin name is from Carduus, a genus of thistles) and teasels, but insects are also taken when feeding young. It also regularly visits bird feeders in winter. In the winter goldfinches group together to form flocks of up to forty, occasionally more. Goldfinches are attracted to back gardens in Europe and North America by birdfeeders containing niger (commercially described as nyjer) seed. This seed of an annual from Africa is small, and high in oils. Special polycarbonate feeders with small oval slits at which the goldfinches feed are sometimes used.
Goldfinches are commonly kept and bred in captivity around the world because of their distinctive appearance and pleasant song. If goldfinches are kept with canaries, they tend to lose their native song and call in favour of their cage-mates' songs. This is considered un-desirable as it detracts from the allure of keeping goldfinches. In Britain during the 19th century many thousands of goldfinches were trapped each year to be sold as cage-birds. One of the earliest campaigns of the Society for the Protection of Birds was directed against this trade. Wildlife conservation attempts to limit bird trapping and the destruction of open space habitats of goldfinches.
Because of the thistle seeds it eats, in Christian symbolism the goldfinch is associated with Christ's Passion and his crown of thorns. The goldfinch, appearing in pictures of the Madonna and Christ child, represents the foreknowledge Jesus and Mary had of the Crucifixion. Examples include the Madonna del cardellino or Madonna of the Goldfinch, painted by the Italian renaissance artist Raphael in about 1505–6, in which John the Baptist offers the goldfinch to Christ in warning of his future. In Barocci's Holy Family a goldfinch is held in the hand of John the Baptist who holds it high out of reach of an interested cat. In Cima da Conegliano's Madonna and Child, a goldfinch flutters in the hand of the Christ child. It is also an emblem of endurance, fruitfulness, and persistence. Because it symbolizes the Passion, the goldfinch is considered a "saviour" bird and may be pictured with the common fly (which represents sin and disease). The goldfinch is also associated with Saint Jerome and appears in some depictions of him.
Antonio Vivaldi composed a Concerto in D major for Flute "Il Gardellino" (RV 428, Op. 10 No. 3), where the singing of the goldfinch is imitated by a flute.
Goldfinches, with their "wanton freak" and "yellow flutterings", are among the many natural "luxuries" that delight the speaker of John Keats's poem 'I stood tip-toe upon a little hill...' (1816).
In the poem The Great Hunger by Patrick Kavanagh, the goldfinch is one of the rare glimpses of beauty in the life of an elderly Irish farmer:
The goldfinches on the railway paling were worth looking at
A man might imagine then
Himself in Brazil and these birds the birds of paradise
Donna Tartt's novel The Goldfinch won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. A turning point in the plot occurs when the narrator, Theo, sees his mother's favourite painting, Carel Fabritius's The Goldfinch, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Ashford Hill is a British national nature reserve next to the village of Ashford Hill in Hampshire. Part of the reserve is a designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The site is one of Natural Englands nature reservesCardellina
Cardellina is a genus of passerine birds in the New World warbler family Parulidae. The genus name Cardellina is a diminutive of the Italian dialect word Cardella for the European goldfinch.The genus was introduced by the French naturalist Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1850. The type species was subsequently designated as the red-faced warbler. The genus originally contained one species, the red-faced warbler. A comprehensive study of the wood-warblers published in 2010 that analysed mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences found that the five species formed a discrete clade, with the Wilson's and Canada warblers as early offshoots, followed by a lineage that gave rise to two branches - one leading to the red-faced and another that diverged to the red and pink-headed warblers.Carduelinae
The cardueline finches are a subfamily, Carduelinae, one of three subfamilies of the finch family Fringillidae, the others being the Fringillinae and the Euphoniinae. The Hawaiian honeycreepers are now included in this subfamily. Cardueline finches are specialised seed eaters, and unlike most passerine birds, they feed their young mostly on seeds, which are regurgitated. Besides this, they differ from the other finches in some minor details of their skull. They are adept at opening seeds and clinging to stems, unlike other granivorous birds, such as sparrows and buntings, which feed mostly on fallen seeds. Some members of this subfamily are further specialised to feed on a particular type of seed, such as cones, in the case of crossbills. Carduelines forage in flocks throughout the year, rather than keeping territories, and males defend their females rather than a territory or nest.The name Carduelina[e] for the subfamily was introduced by the Irish zoologist Nicholas Aylward Vigors in 1825. Carduelinae is derived from the Latin name carduelis and the binomial name Carduelis carduelis for a goldfinch, one of the species in the subfamily.Carduelis
The genus Carduelis
is a group of birds in the finch family Fringillidae.
The genus Carduelis was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 by tautonomy based on Carl Linnaeus's specific epithet for the European goldfinch Fringilla carduelis. The name carduelis is the Latin word for the European goldfinch.A large number of bird species were at one time assigned to the genus but it became clear from phylogenetic studies of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences that the genus was polyphyletic. The polyphyletic nature of the genus was confirmed by Dario Zuccon and coworkers in a comprehensive study of the finch family published in 2012. The authors suggested splitting the genus into several monophyletic clades, a proposal that was accepted by the International Ornithologists' Union. The siskins and goldfinches from the Americas formed a distinct clade and were moved to the resurrected genus Spinus, the greenfinches were moved to the genus Chloris, the twite and linnets formed another clade and were moved to the genus Linaria and finally the redpolls were moved to the genus Acanthis.The genus Carduelis is now restricted to three European species:
European goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis
Citril finch, Carduelis citrinella
Corsican finch, Carduelis corsicanaCentaurea nigra
Centaurea nigra is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family known by the common names lesser knapweed, common knapweed and black knapweed. A local vernacular name is hardheads.
It is native to Europe but it is known on other continents as an introduced species and often a noxious weed.
Although the plant is often unwanted by landowners because it is considered a weed by many, it provides a great deal of nectar for pollinators. It was rated in the top 5 for most nectar production (nectar per unit cover per year) in a UK plants survey conducted by the AgriLand project which is supported by the UK Insect Pollinators Initiative. It also placed second as a producer of nectar sugar per floral unit, among the meadow perennials, in another study in Britain.Citril finch
The citril finch (Carduelis citrinella), also known as the Alpine citril finch, is a small songbird, a member of the true finch family Fringillidae. For a long time, this cardueline finch was placed in the genus Serinus, but it is apparently very closely related to the European goldfinch (C. carduelis).This bird is a resident breeder in the mountains of southwestern Europe from Spain to the Alps. Its northernmost breeding area is found in the Black Forest of southwestern Germany.Clutch (eggs)
A clutch of eggs is the group of eggs produced by birds, amphibians, or reptiles, often at a single time, particularly those laid in a nest.
In birds, destruction of a clutch by predators (or removal by humans, for example the California condor breeding program) results in double-clutching. The technique is used to double the production of a species' eggs, in the California condor case, specifically to increase population size. The act of putting one's hand in a nest to remove eggs is known as "dipping the clutch".Corsican finch
The Corsican finch (Carduelis corsicana), also known as Corsican citril finch or Mediterranean citril finch is a bird in the finch family, Fringillidae.
It was formerly regarded a subspecies of the citril finch, but it differs in morphology and vocalizations (Förschler & Kalko, 2007) as well as mtDNA sequence (Sangster, 2000, contra Pasquet & Thibault, 1997, Förschler et al. 2009) and they are now considered distinct species (Sangster et al., 2002, Förschler et al. 2009).
Formerly, both were placed in the genus Serinus, but they appear to be close relatives of the European goldfinch (Arnaiz-Villena et al., 1998).
It is found in Corsica and on the Italian islands of Sardinia, Elba, Capraia and Gorgona.
It has dark-streaked brown upperparts, and brighter yellow underparts than the citril finch.Distelfink
A distelfink is a stylized goldfinch, probably based on the European variety It frequently appears in Pennsylvania Dutch folk art. It represents happiness and good fortune and the Pennsylvania German people, and is a common theme in hex signs and in fraktur. The word distelfink (literally 'thistle-finch') is (besides Stieglitz) the German name for the European goldfinch.Finch
The true finches are small to medium-sized passerine birds in the family Fringillidae. Finches have stout conical bills adapted for eating seeds and often have colourful plumage. They occupy a great range of habitats where they are usually resident and do not migrate. They have a worldwide distribution except for Australia and the polar regions. The family includes species known as siskins, canaries, redpolls, serins, grosbeaks and euphonias.
Many birds in other families are also commonly called "finches". These groups include: the estrildid finches (Estrildidae) of the Old World tropics and Australia; some members of the Old World bunting family (Emberizidae) and the American sparrow family (Passerellidae); and the Darwin's finches of the Galapagos islands, now considered members of the tanager family (Thraupidae).Finches and canaries were used in the UK, Canada and USA in the coal mining industry, to detect carbon monoxide from the eighteenth to twentieth century. This practice ceased in the UK in 1986.Gardabani Managed Reserve
Gardabani Managed Reserve (Georgian: გარდაბნის აღკვეთილი) is a protected area in Gardabani Municipality and Marneuli Municipality in Kvemo Kartli region of Georgia. Reserve is located on the left bank of Mtkvari river near the Azerbaijan border at a distance of 39 km from Tbilisi. It protects floodplain forest groves as well as local fauna.
It has been considered to be included into Ramsar Convention list of Wetlands of international importance.
Gardabani Managed Reserve is part of the Georgian protected areas system which also includes Tbilisi National Park, Saguramo Range, Gldani, Martqopi, Gulele.Reserve offers opportunities for bird watching, animal watching and botanical and ecological tours.Golden-winged grosbeak
The genus Rhynchostruthus is a small group of finches in the family Fringillinae. Commonly known as golden-winged grosbeaks, they are attractive, chunky, medium-sized, robust-billed songbirds restricted to the southern Arabian and northern Somalian regions.
These elusive birds are typically found between 1,060 and 2,800 metres ASL in forested wadis and areas of scrub. The fruits of junipers, acacias and spurges appear to form the bulk of their diet.Goldfinch
Goldfinch may refer to:
The bird species from the genus Carduelis:
European goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis
Any of the following bird species from the genus Spinus:
American goldfinch, Spinus tristis
Lawrence's goldfinch, Spinus lawrencei
Lesser goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
Distelfink, a goldfinch in Pennsylvania Dutch folk art
Gloster Goldfinch, a British fighter aircraft
The Goldfinch (painting), a 1654 painting by Carel Fabritius
The Goldfinch (novel), a 2013 novel by Donna Tartt
The Goldfinch (film), an upcoming 2019 filmJärveküla Nature Reserve
Järveküla Nature Reserve is a nature reserve founded in 1990, situated by Lake Vörtsjärv in southern Estonia (Viljandi County) near the village of Järveküla. The nature reserve has been established to protect the population of white-tailed eagles present in the area, and includes pine forest and patches of bog.Other birds found in Järveküla Nature Reserve include: the Barn swallow (the national bird of Estonia), Eurasian wryneck, Eurasian golden oriole, Icterine warbler, River warbler, Spotted flycatcher, Eurasian tree sparrow, Common chaffinch, European greenfinch, European pied flycatcher, Eurasian skylark, Fieldfare, White wagtail, Yellowhammer, Hooded crow, Garden warbler, Grey heron, Eurasian blue tit, Eurasian blackcap, Common rosefinch, European goldfinch and Common chiffchaff among others.Lesser goldfinch
The lesser goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) is a very small songbird of the Americas. Together with its relatives the American goldfinch and Lawrence's goldfinch, it forms the American goldfinches clade in the genus Spinus sensu stricto.
The American goldfinches can be distinguished by the males having a black (rarely green) forehead, whereas the latter is (like the rest of the face) red or yellow in the European goldfinch and its relatives. North American males are markedly polymorphic and 5 subspecies are often named; at least 2 of them seem to represent a less-progressed stage in evolution however.Steglitz
Steglitz is a locality of the Steglitz-Zehlendorf borough in the south-west of Berlin, the capital of Germany. The locality also includes the neighbourhood of Südende. Steglitz is a Slavic name for the European goldfinch, similar to the German 'Stieglitz'.Stehlík
Stehlík (feminine Stehlíková) is a fairly common Czech and Slovak surname. It means European goldfinch. Notable people with the surname include:
Džamila Stehlíková (born 1962), Kazakh-Czech politician
Henrik Stehlik (born 1980), German athlete
Josef Stehlík, Czech fighter pilot
Petr Stehlík (born 1977), Czech shot putter
Richard Stehlík (born 1984), Slovak ice hockey playerThe Goldfinch (painting)
The Goldfinch (Dutch: Het puttertje) is a 1654 animal painting by Carel Fabritius of a chained goldfinch. It is an oil painting on panel of 33.5 by 22.8 cm (13.2 by 9.0 in). The work belongs to the collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands.
|In the arts|