Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis )

Although it is widespread in Europe „ even in cool, damp climates, the Goldfinch seems most at home in the hot, sunny summer of the Mediterranean.

Its bouncy, lively actions and flashing colours go well with the bright, dry conditions and surroundings of brightly flowering plants on the seeds of which it feeds.

It is, however, also found farther north in farmland with scattered woods and plenty of rough, open ground. Such places tend to be labelled “waste” and are all to often tidied up and stripped of the seed-bearing herbs and shrubs on which so many finches depend.

VOICE Calls are highly distinctive variations on usual finch theme: chattering, skipping flight call, skip-i-lip or tililip with liquid, lilting quality, rough tschair; song musical and varied, mixture of call notes and liquid trills.

NESTING Neat nest of roots, grass, and cobwebs, in tree or shrub; 5 or 6 eggs; 2 broods; May-July.

FEEDING Feeds on soft, half-ripe seeds on low- growing to medium-height plants, less often on ground; also eats tree seeds from alder and birch.

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