This evening I heard a bang whilst watching some tv. It sounded like a bird had hit the patio window, and when I went to investigate I found this little fella lying sprawled on the decking. I feared the worst, but it had its head held up and looked dazed. I kept my distance for I didn’t want to frighten it to death, which can happen with wild birds. But as I stood and watched his little head slowly slumped to the wooden deck, and I thought he had gone.
However his tail was still twitching and I thought he may have passed out. I couldn’t leave him out there for fear of cats getting hold of him, so I gathered him up in my hands where it lifted its head up. I placed him in a cardboard box and took him into the house to let him recover a while. When I went to check on him not too long after he suddenly flew out the box to my delight! It flew a short distance in my living room, now all I had to do was catch it and set it on its merry way.
Eventually I caught it and took it outside, and it flew away at speed, apparently unharmed.
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), July 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.
This little Goldfinch has been singing its little heart out from on high most of the day.
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), from rear garden, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.
Photograph of young Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis), taken September 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.
Photographs of Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), taken August 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.
I photographed this adult and juvenile Goldfinch on my feeder over the past couple of mornings. The sun wasn’t quite up so the light wasn’t as good as I would have liked, and I would have liked to have gotten closer to them, but that’s how it goes sometimes. This is a bold flashy bird with its bright red-head and face spot. It has a black cap and white head, a sharp pale beak, a chestnut patch either side of its breast, tawny back plumage and bright flashes of yellow on the wing feathers. The juvenile has duller wings and a greyish head.
Their long beaks allow them to feed on the seeds of thistles and teasels, in which they are specialists in extraction. They will also visit bird feeders and bird tables, and search for invertebrates at ground level. It breeds in low-lying deciduous woodland, pine plantations and orchards.They form nests made of roots, grass and cobwebs in tree trunks or shrubs. The female lays 5 or 6 eggs in 2 broods from May to July. Goldfinches can live for up to 5 years.
Seen all year round, although many UK Goldfinches will migrate as far south as Spain for warmer climes. Found in wild roughland, wasteland, roadside verges, anywhere there is tall wildflower growth where there are plentiful seeds on which they feed. Also seen in parks and gardens. Common and widespread, except for the far north and west of Scotland.
Photographs of Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), adult and juvenile taken August 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.