The Goldfinch and the Best Goldfinch Food
Of the many species of bird which could visit your garden, the goldfinch is one of the most colourful. This diminutive bird features an appealing mixture of red, white, golden and bright yellow plumage. The sexes are similar but the male’s red face extends further and behind the eye.
How to Recognise a Goldfinch
The goldfinch is a small bird with a black crown and white cheeks. The chin and forehead are red and the body a golden or tawny colour. The belly and rump are white. The goldfinch’s wings are mostly black but feature a striking yellow band. The bird’s beak can be a variety of shades from pinkish to pale grey and its legs are flesh coloured. Young goldfinches are usually a dull brown colour with darker streaks.
The goldfinch possesses an appealing rambling twitter. At one time goldfinches were commonly kept as caged birds because of their pleasant song and colourful appearance.
Feeding and Goldfinch Food for the Garden
Goldfinches feed on a variety of tree seeds including alder and birch. They also enjoy thistle and dandelion seeds. If you would like to attract goldfinches to your garden then you should offer njyer) seed. This is a firm favourite with goldfinches and is the seed of the African Yellow Daisy. It is not the seed of a thistle which is a common misconception. also make for excellent goldfinch food.
More and more goldfinches are turning to garden bird feeders as a source of food. This could be because their natural sources of food are in decline or because more garden owners are offering the niger seed and sunflower hearts that they most enjoy.
Goldfinches build cup shaped nests and these are created by the female using moss, grasses and lichen. She lines the nest with wool and soft plant down. The nests are usually constructed in trees toward the ends of branches. Goldfinches will lay between three and seven eggs which incubate for ten to fourteen days. Goldfinch eggs are smooth and pale blue with reddish markings. They are incubated by the female but the young are fed by both of their parents. The youngsters fledge after approximately two weeks
Population and Migration
The goldfinch population has largely recovered after it went into sharp decline in the 1970’s possibly due to the increase in the commercial use of herbicides. There are currently over 600,000 goldfinches in the UK during the spring and summer months. Some of these birds migrate to south-western Europe in the winter. More females than males migrate and may not do so every year. These birds remain threatened by new agricultural practices and are subject to a Medium BTO alert.
Goldfinches can be seen in all areas of the UK Except the far north and west of Scotland.
If you would like to enjoy more sightings of goldfinches in your own garden then invest in njger seed or sunflower hearts for your bird feeders. This goldfinch food is sure to attract more birds to your garden.