Goldfinch perched on a tree stump (c) Chris Barber


Goldfinches are strikingly beautiful examples of the finch family. They are almost tropical in appearance, with long, pointed beaks that make them specialists in extracting seeds. Surprisingly, it is only the males that are able to extract seeds from teasel heads; they cling to the stem and tear into it, accessing the seeds inside by probing with their extra-long bill.

Outside the breeding season, goldfinches roam in flocks in search of food and groups of 100 birds are quite common. They have beautiful liquid songs for which they have historically been kept caged. Although, they will eat insects, goldfinches are notoriously partial to niger seeds.

All you need to know about British birds.

Scientific name: Carduelis carduelis

Rank: Species

Common names:

European goldfinch

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Map showing the distribution of the Goldfinch taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Goldfinch can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Goldfinch distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Goldfinch

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