European Goldfinch

It’s rare for an exotic, introduced or feral bird to appear on this blog.

The European Goldfinch was introduced to Australia during the 1880s, on multiple occasions at many different locations. Many of these attempts apparently failed.

It has an extensive natural distribution encompassing Europe, Northern Africa, western and Central Asia, where its favoured habitat includes open woodlands. In Australia it is usually found in open agricultural landscapes and settled areas in the southern half of the continent, often favouring ‘weedy wastelands’. I occasionally observe goldfinches in the local bush, but suspect they are ‘just passing’. I’m not aware of any studies on their ecological impacts in Australia – my observations are that their effects are on a different level altogether when compared with mynahs, starlings and even blackbirds – a suite of invaders of which I am not at all fond of!

A pair of European Goldfinches has been visiting our front ‘lawn’ in recent weeks, feeding on the abundance of Capeweed. It wasn’t hard to locate their nest, secreted in the canopy of an ornamental pear on a neighbouring property. At least three mouths were being fed.

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European Goldfinch in the home garden, 8th November 2022

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II

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III

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Nesting activity nearby in an ornamental pear

2 responses to “European Goldfinch

  1. I too have seen the goldfinches. They have been feeding on the cape-weed in my orchard. Quite colourful scenes at the moment with the finches adding their hues to those of the Striated Pardeotes , New Holland Honeyeaters, Blue Wrens and Eastern Rosellas in the garden

  2. Hi Geoff,

    Great to see the goldfinches. I too have heard that their affect on the environment is mimimal.

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