Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)


  • Species name: European Goldfinch, Goldfinch
  • Scientific name: Carduelis carduelis
  • Family: Fringillidae (Finches)
  • Order: Passeriformes (Songbirds)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Small finch, about 11-13 cm (4.3-5.1 in) long with a wingspan of 22-24 cm (8.7-9.4 in).
  • Body shape: Compact and plump, with a short neck, a bright pink beak, and a short, forked tail.
  • Plumage color:

Males (breeding season): Striking contrast of bright yellow wings with black wing bars, red face with a black cap, and buff underparts.

Females and non-breeding males: Duller yellow wings, brownish head and back, and streaked underparts.

Blackish legs.

Small, dark eyes.

  • Beak: Short, conical, and pink, well-suited for cracking seeds and gleaning insects.


  • Method of feeding: Primarily seed-eaters, foraging on thistles, dandelions, and other plants. Also glean insects and berries.
  • Reproduction: Builds cup-shaped nests in trees or bushes. Lays 3-5 pale blue eggs with dark markings. Both parents care for the young.
  • Movement: Migratory in some parts of its range, with local movements in others.
  • Communication: Varied song with high-pitched chirps, whistles, and trills. Males sing to defend territory and attract mates.


  • Habitat: Open woodlands, farmland, gardens, and parks with scattered trees and thistles.
  • Diet: Seeds, including thistle, dandelion, sunflower, and hemp. Also glean insects, berries, and buds.
  • Hunting methods: Forages on the ground and in trees, pecking at seeds and gleaning insects from leaves and branches.

Distribution: Found across Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. Introduced to other areas, including Australia and New Zealand.

European Goldfinch

The European Goldfinch, that vibrant flash of red and yellow adorning European gardens and fields, might seem like a simple songbird at first glance. But beneath its striking plumage lies a treasure trove of fascinating facts and adaptations that will leave you captivated by this feathered acrobat and musical maestro:

Master Mimicry: Don't underestimate the Goldfinch's vocal talents! They are skilled mimics, able to flawlessly reproduce the calls of other birds, even incorporating them into their own complex and melodious songs. Imagine them as feathered DJs with built-in sound effect libraries!

Acrobatic Seed Hunters: Their bright colors aren't just for show. Goldfinches are amazingly agile fliers, effortlessly maneuvering through branches and stalks to reach the tastiest seeds. They can even hang upside down, clinging to stems with their strong feet to extract hidden treats. Think of them as feathered trapeze artists with built-in mini parachutes!

Unexpected Thievery: While usually seed eaters, Goldfinches have a surprising secret. They sometimes engage in seed pilfering, stealing food from other birds like tits and finches. Imagine them as feathered Robin Hoods with built-in miniature pockets!

Hidden Feasting Technique: Their beaks aren't just for cracking seeds. Goldfinches have a unique ability to extract the nutritious seeds from thistles using their specially adapted tongues. It's like they have built-in mini tweezers for accessing delicious hidden treats!

Symbiotic Symphony: Goldfinches play a vital role in the ecosystem. By dispersing seeds through their droppings, they help plants spread and take root, contributing to the vibrant tapestry of grasslands and fields. These feathered gardeners even help control some insect populations, maintaining a healthy balance in their habitats.

Cultural Charmers: For centuries, the Goldfinch has held a special place in European cultures. It appears in paintings, poetry, and even folk art, often symbolizing joy, hope, and the simple beauty of nature. It's a testament to the enduring fascination we have with this vibrant and captivating bird.

Unexpected Winter Warriors: While many songbirds migrate south for the winter, some Goldfinches choose to tough it out in colder climates. Their thick feathers and efficient metabolism allow them to thrive in freezing temperatures, adding a splash of color to the snow-covered landscapes. Talk about feathered Vikings with built-in winter jackets!

Unexpected Regional Variation: Did you know? Goldfinch songs and plumage vary across their vast range! Different geographical populations have unique dialects and color patterns, creating a diverse avian choir and kaleidoscope of feathered fashion across Europe.