Carduelis carduelis

RSPB Conservation Status – Green

Last seen – 1-2-23

The goldfinch is a small and strikingly beautiful bird species found across the UK.

It is easily recognizable by its bright red face, black and white wings, and yellow and black striped tail.

The male and female birds are similar in appearance.


Population – Approximately 1,600,000 breeding pairs

Length – 12 – 13 cm

Wingspan – 21 – 26 cm

Weight – 14 – 19 g


Goldfinches breed in the UK between May and August, with females laying between 4-6 eggs.

The nests are built in bushes or trees, using moss, lichen, and other materials.

Both parents incubate the eggs for around 14 days, and the chicks fledge after around 15 days.


Goldfinches are commonly found in a range of habitats, including woodlands, parks, gardens, and farmlands.

They prefer areas with a diverse range of vegetation, including thistles, teasels, and other seed-bearing plants.

The birds also need open areas to forage for food and nest.



Goldfinches are primarily seed-eating birds, feeding on a range of plant seeds, including thistle, teasel, and dandelion.

They also eat insects and other small invertebrates during the breeding season, providing essential protein for their young.

If you have seen a Goldfinch, please let us know via our survey page.