European Goldfinch (species: Carduelis carduelis) in Birds of Argentina (Gaia Guide)
Carduelis carduelis
European Goldfinch

©Tony Hisgett: European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

©Charlie: European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Fringillidae
Genus Carduelis
Species Carduelis carduelis
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

The sexes are broadly similar, with a red face, black and white head, warm brown upperparts, white underparts with buff flanks and breast patches, and black and yellow wings. On closer inspection males  �can often be distinguished by a larger, darker red mask that extends just behind the eye. In females, the red face does not reach the eye.

The ivory-coloured bill is long and pointed, and the tail is forked.

When in breeding condition have a white bill, with a greyish or blackish mark at the tip for the rest of the year.

Juveniles have a plain head and a greyer back but are unmistakable due to the yellow wing stripe.

Birds in central Asia (the caniceps group) have a plain grey head behind the red face, lacking the black and white head pattern of European and western Asian birds. (Wikipedia)


  • From 12 cm to 13 cm (Length of specimen)


  • From 21 cm to 25 cm



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

The goldfinch breeds across Europe, North Africa, and western and central Asia, in open, partially wooded lowlands.

It is resident in the milder west of its range, but migrates from colder regions. It will also make local movements, even in the west, to escape bad weather. It has been introduced to many areas of the world. (Wikipedia)

Local abundance

  • Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand: abundant


Their preferred food is small seeds such as those from thistles (the Latin name is from Carduus, a genus of thistles) and teasels, but insects are also taken when feeding young. (Wikipedia)

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