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European Goldfinch


European Goldfinch
Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-03-22
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Sigma EX 500mm f4.5 APO HSM, Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 DG 1.4x
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/400 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-04-04 1:20
Viewed: 5643
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
European Goldfinches in RSPB Conwy nature reserve North Wales.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Goldfinch or European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) is a small passerine bird in the finch family.

Range
It 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.

Appearance
The average Goldfinch is 12-13 cm long with a wingspan of 21-25 cm and a weight of 14 to 19 grams. 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 male Goldfinches 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. Goldfinches 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 (caniceps group) have a plain grey head behind the red face, lacking the black and white head pattern of European and western Asian birds.

Behaviour
The food is small seeds such as thistles (the Latin name is from carduus, thistle) and teasels, but insects are also taken when feeding young. It also regularly visits bird feeders in winter. They nest in the outer twigs of tall leafy trees, laying four to six eggs which hatch in 11-14 days.
In the winter they group together to form flocks of up to about 40 birds, occasionally more.
The song is a pleasant silvery twittering. The call is a melodic tickeLIT, and the song is a pleasant tinkling medley of trills and twitters, but always including the trisyllabic call phrase or a teLLIT-teLLIT-teLLIT.
In earlier times, the Goldfinch was kept as a cagebird for its song. Escapes from captivity and deliberate releases have colonised southeastern Australia and New Zealand.

As a garden bird
Goldfinches are attracted to back gardens in Europe and North America with specially designed birdfeeders containing niger (commercially described as nyjer seed). This seed of an annual from South Asia is small and black, and it seems, irrestible to goldfinches. It is high in oils. Small oval slits are introduced into a polycarbonate cylinder, and at these apertures, goldfinches feed while perching on small perches perpendicular to the vertical axis of the birfeeder.

Goldfinches in captivity
Goldfinches are commonly kept and bred in captivity around the world because of their distinctive appearance and pleasant song. The Goldfinch males are commonly crossed with Canary females with the intention to produce male mules with beautiful singing voices, that often capture the best singing attributes of both breeds.

haraprasan, jaycee, Adanac has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Pekka,
Very nice shot. Good sharpness and details.
TFS
Wei

Hi Pekka,
A nice capture of this gold finch. Excellent details and composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-04-04 19:25]

Hello Pekka,
Beautiful species well captured with great colors and details.
Thank you for sharing Pekka,
Rick

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-04-05 9:15]

Hi Pekka,

How wonderful to catch two of these Goldfinches at the feeder. I love the one peeking out from behind. Beautiful colors and nice details of the face, plummage and wings.

Jane

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