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Order Song birds/Passeriformes, Family Finches/Fringillidae

European Goldfinch/Carduelis carduelis - Adult

L 12-13½ cm. Breeds in low-lying deciduous and mixed woodland, in pine plantations and in orchards and gardens. Mainly summer visitor (mostly Apr-early Nov), majority winter in S and W Europe. Often seen in flocks after breeding. Frequently forages on seeding thistles, burdocks etc. Nests in tree crown, often among thinner outer branches.
IDENTIFICATION: Unmistakable with its red ‘face’, its otherwise black and white head, the jet-black wing with broad yellow wing-bar (visible also on perched bird) and prominent white rump and black tail with white spots. Sexes in practice alike in the field. Bill very long and pointed, ivory-white. - Juvenile (up to Aug-Oct): Head grey-brown and diffusely streaked, without adult’s red, white and black pattern.
VOICE: Call very characteristic, a trisyllabic, skipping and cheery ‘tickelitt’; conversational monosyllabic “litt’ or disyllabic ‘telitt’ sometimes heard from foraging flocks. Flocks also give rasping ‘tschrre’ notes. Song rather quiet, akin to Siskin’s and consists of rapid trills, mewing notes and twittering sequences but always recognized by interwoven call-note or long series of ‘telitt-telitt-telitt’.

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