Last updated: 21 January 2011
This brightly-coloured finch looks somewhat more exotic than the usual garden bird fare we're used to in Britain, but is a pretty common visitor, especially to those places with ready seed supplies and bird feeders.
It has a red face, black cap and yellow wing patch, making it instantly recognisable and a welcome visitor to gardens. In the 2010 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, 30.5 % of gardens reported their presence.
The goldfinch is a sociable bird, clustering in small groups and loose breeding colonies, their song sonorous and attractive twittering.
Their beak is slim, enabling them to feed on otherwise inaccessible seeds from plants such as thistles, although as with many other wild birds, they are increasingly likely to come into urban areas.
Although resident, many goldfinches migrate, with some birds flying as far south as Spain. It is thought that roughly 100,000 birds winter in the UK.
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