Goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis

Other Names:
Finch was the original name for the Chaffinch. Pink was used in Scotland for Finch hence Gold Pink. Jack Nicker was the Shropshire and Cheshire name (probably deriving from the Welsh Jac Nico) , King Harry (maybe related to Henry VIII’s ostentatious dress style), Proud Tailor (Midlands), Red Cap (mainly Northern counties. after its red plumage on the head), Lady of Twelve Flounces (Shropshire) and Thistle Finch from its feeding habits. Goldie among cage bird keeper, Seven coloured Linnet, with referance to the seven colours found in the plumage. The eighth century Anglo-Saxons knew it as Thisteltuige or Thistle-tweaker. The Latin for thistle is Carduus. Greyplate is the name for a Juvenile Goldfinch
Habitat: Mixed woodland, parks, gardens and farmland. Everywhere except moorland and mountainous areas where the food plants are absent.
Distribution: Worldwide: Breeds across Europe, North Africa, Western and Central Asia, but migrates out of the colder regions in winter.
UK: All the U.K. except North – west Scotland.
Numbers: Worldwide: At least 75,000,000.
U.K. : 310,000 breeding pairs, 100,000 resident individuals
Food: Seeds of Thistle, Teasel and Knapweed amongst others. Insects in the summer and when breeding. Many are attracted to Garden feeders by offering nyjer (Niger) seed.
Breeding: 4 – 6 black-speckled blue eggs in a cup nest. Incubated for about two weeks with the young birds fledging after another 13 – 18 days.
Bill: Seed type bill, towards narrow.
Length: 12 – 13 cm


were very popular as caged-birds in the latter half of the 18th century and the male was interbred with the canary to produce a male bird with the singing attributes of both species. It was reported that 132,000 birds were caught at one location and, by the end of the century the number of wild birds was in decline.
The Goldfinch was the most painted bird in European devotional pictures after the dove. It symbolized the resurrection and fertility as well as miraculous healing powers being attributed to it. It was usually pictured with the Madonna and Child, for example, the Madonna del cardellino or Madonna of the Goldfinch painted by Raphael representing John the Baptist giving a Goldfinch to the infant Christ as a warning of the future, the bird representing the Crown of Thorns.
The collective name for the Goldfinch is a charm with charm being defined as “a blended sound of many voices”. The Middle English charme and the Latin Carmen mean a magic spell or song.

Goldfinch, Painting Goebel, Goldfinch Grey plate,
a young Goldfinch
Seen in a Garden
Goldfinch paintinmg by Alan M Hunt Goebel Goldfinch figurine Greypalte a young Goldfinch Goldfinch on garden plant
Alan M Hunt
Original maybe for Sale
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by Paul Cumberland
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