European goldfinch – Carduelis carduelis
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Class: Aves
- Order: Passeriformes
- Family: Fringillidae
- Genre: Carduelis
- Species: Carduelis carduelis
The finch is a small finch with a body length of 12-13 and weighs 17-29 g. . It nests in low deciduous forests, pine plantations and orchards. Predominantly a summer visitor, mostly wintering in S and W Europe. Often seen in flocks outside nesting season. Frequently forages for seeds on thistle, brier or shepherd’s crook.
Brightly coloured adults are easily recognised, especially by the red on the forehead and around the bill. The crest is black and the cheeks are white. The beak is relatively long and very pointed, yellowish-white. On the back and chest it has light brown shades, and the belly is whitish. The wing is black-brown with white spots and a wide yellow band. The tit is white, prominent. The tail is black with white spots.
Juveniles may be harder to identify, with heads in shades of grey-brown with fine stripes, lacking the red, white and black pattern of the adult.
The genus and species name, ,,Carduelis, comes from the scavengers of the genus Carduus, in winter large groups of copses can be seen on these plants, whose seeds they consume.
The sound is trisyllabic, bouncy and cheerful. The song consists of rapid trills, mewing notes and chirping sequences.