Why are Goldfinches so gaudy?

Answer: So that they can hide in gaudy places.

Goldfinch Goldfinch Goldfinch Goldfinch Goldfinch Goldfinch GoldfinchThe Goldfinch is perfectly adapted for life in the flower bed.

They are a bit more obvious when they visit the feeder. If you want Goldfinches in your garden then I recommend feeding sunflower hearts, they do love them.

Goldfinch Goldfinch

The bird above is a male. Sometimes it is easy to tell the sexes apart. It is the red mask. On the male bird it continues behind the eye and on the female it stops short. So in the picture below the female is at the front. In practice though some male birds masks only just go beyond the eye and you can hardly see it and in some females the mask goes almost right to the end of the eye. It isn’t always easy to tell them apart.

GoldfinchSo, does anybody know what a Goldfinch fledgling looks like?

Goldfinch Fledgling Goldfinch Fledgling Goldfinch Fledgling Goldfinch Fledgling Goldfinch Fledgling Goldfinch Fledgling Goldfinch FledglingYou do now.

All of these little birds make me happy.

38 thoughts on “Why are Goldfinches so gaudy?”

      1. I live in Virginia, near the ocean, I have significant numbers of Goldfinches in the garden throughout the year…depending on weather sometimes…I bring them in early with thistle and keep them by planting as many yellow/gold blooming plants as possible. They love rudbeckia and I have hundreds of blooms that keep them busy everyday!
        Nice photos and good info…I think sharing locations really helps folks learn more about concepts.


    1. Thanks. No, I don’t think that they range as far as Texas. I am not quite used to the internet yet and often forget to put names to things because I think that everyone is used to seeing them. I am working on that. Thanks for the nice comment 🙂


  1. Thanks Eve 🙂 I have Wrens that bob about in the bushes by my back door, they are difficult to catch on camera but I will get them one day, 🙂


    1. Oh! It’s a Zinnia is it? 🙂 I am afraid that I only really do weeds, I am hopeless in the garden but then most gardens have plenty of weeds too. The garden comes with the farm and is my landlord’s responsibility. The birds do like the big gaudy flowers though 🙂


      1. I’m not really sure, I was guessing based on the stem. It looks similar to, but not exactly the same as, the way a Zinnia is formed. I’m doubting my ID at the moment. Maybe someone else will come along and help us both out with it 🙂


  2. Great blog! Glad I found it. I am always mesmerized by the wonders of nature.Thanks for sharing these miraculous wonders.


  3. Ooo, love this bird, its colors! Wonderful photos. I’m just now getting around to my appreciation of birds — sorry, I’ve loved them from afar but never knew much about them — so your blog is wonderfully educational for me! 🙂


    1. Thank you John. We have charms of Goldfinches in the garden now and a twenty kilo sack of sunflower hearts to keep them happy. 🙂 I do like to watch them take seeds from the flowers though. They are lovely birds.


  4. This is such a wonderful collection of pics of goldfinches. I love them too but only really see them in my London garden. They love nijer seed here! Once I saw one baby feeding on the feeder and another one on a branch just screaming out to be fed. And it was by Mum or Dad……hopefully it learnt to feed itself! We get quite a few now.
    Unfortunately not seen any clearly in Spain but they need to be wary because they get caught and caged still……


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