Carduelis carduelis


Goldfinches are striking, small finches of gardens, parks, woodland, heathland and farmland. They eat small seeds, especially from Ragwort, Dandelions and Teasels (their long, pointed bills help them to extract the seeds), and also invertebrates.


They will visit bird tables and feeders, too. During winter, Goldfinches roam about in flocks of up to 100 birds, searching for food. However, some of our UK birds will migrate as far south as Spain to avoid the worst of the harsh weather.

How to identify

Unmistakeable: Goldfinches are small, colourful finches, gingery-brown above and pale below, with black and yellow wings, a black crown, white cheeks and a bright red face.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

You can help to look after Goldfinches and other garden birds by providing food and water for them - it doesn't matter if you have a big garden or live in a high-rise flat, there are plenty of feeders, baths and food choices out there to suit all kinds of situations. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started. To buy bird food or feeders, visit Vine House Farm website, an award-winning wildlife-friendly farm which gives 5% of all its takings to The Wildlife Trusts.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Carduelis carduelis
Finches and Buntings
Length: 12-14cm Wingspan: 24cm Weight: 17g Average Lifespan: 2 years
Conservation status