Finches >

The European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), also commonly known as the Goldfinch, is a passerine bird (from the family Fringillidae). Native to Europe, North Africa and parts of western and central Asia, they were introduced to Australia in the nineteenth century.

The European Goldfinch has a red face, with a black crown, black markings around the eyes and shoulder. The sides of the head are white. The upperparts and flanks are a buff light brown, the abdomen and rump are white. The black wings have a yellow bar with a white trailing edge in flight. They have a conical pinkish bill. The sexes are similar, although the female have a slightly smaller red area on the face. The juveniles have a brown head and streaked body plumage with bold wing pattern.

They eat small seeds, such as those of the introduced Scotch Thistle (pictured here). They also eat insects.

The female European Goldfinch builds a neat, compact cup-shaped nest sometimes low in the bushes, up to several metres above the ground. Both parents typically raise the chicks, and are know to raise two to three broods in a year.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Fringillidae
  • Subfamily: Carduelinae
  • Genus: Carduelis
  • Species: C. carduelis
  • Binomial name: Carduelis carduelis