Bird Families

Black-headed goldfinch


Goldfinches are characterized by a long and sharp beak (the length of the beak is twice its width at the nostrils), the red color of the plumage of the face in adults, the wings are long and rather sharp, the longest flight feathers are the second, third and fourth, the tail is notched, the paw is short and strong, the color of males and females are very similar, but juveniles in nesting plumage differ significantly from adults. Molting once a year, after hatching of chicks, young ones, like other finches, replace small feathers in the first autumn of their life. Goldfinches are very close to Linnet, Siskin and Tap Dance, and all of them may be more correctly considered as subgenus. The only species of goldfinches splits into a large number of geographic forms, which can be combined into two groups: the northern and western, characterized by a black head, and the eastern, characterized by a grayish head, one color with the back.

Goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis carduelis

In an adult male, the plumage of the facial parts, the anterior part of the crown and throat is bright red, the bridle is black, the crown, the small and medium wing coverts, the bases of the large wing coverts, the flight feathers and tail feathers are black, the tops of the large wing coverts, the bases of the flight feathers are yellow, the spots on the tops of the flight feathers and tail feathers, the bases of the two extreme pairs of tail feathers, the upper tail, the spot on the back of the head and cheeks are white, the back is brown, across the throat is a pale brown spot, the sides of the body and chest are pale brown, the rest of the underside is white. The female is colored similarly to the male, only the red color on the head is less common. In the fresh feather, after molting, the feathers of the head and wing have underdeveloped light edges, which are erased by spring. Eyes are brownish, legs are meat-colored, beak is yellowish, darkening towards the top. Male wing near females Young birds in nesting plumage do not have black and red on the head, the top is brownish with dark tops of feathers, white spots on the tops of flight feathers and tail feathers are large, the bottom is with brownish streaks in places that are brownish in adult birds ...

The common goldfinch is widespread throughout Western Europe, except for the Far North, where it is absent, and the British Isles and the Mediterranean, where it is replaced by closely related forms, differing mainly in dark color, in the USSR it is found northward up to about 60 ° N. sh., to the east - to the Volga region, to the south - to the Black Sea (but not in the Crimea). In winter it comes across in the Mediterranean and the Caucasus

Volga goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis volgensis (K. K. volgenzis)

It differs from the previous form in a slightly larger size and slightly more light brown coloration of the back. Average wing In essence, the Volga goldfinches are a transitional population to the Siberian race.

Since this form is connected by continuous transitions with the nominal race, on the one hand, and the Siberian one, on the other, the boundaries of its distribution can be indicated only conditionally. The Sura basin in the west and the Urals (Ufa, Orenburg) in the east are usually taken as such. However, the Tobolsk birds, in essence, are not yet typical S. p. major. In winter, the Volga goldfinch reaches the Balkan Peninsula, Iran and Kazakhstan.

Siberian goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis major (K. K. major)

Larger than the previous race: the wing on the average is lighter in color, the brown color on the chest and sides is less widespread.

Siberia east of the Urals, north to Tyumen and Tomsk, east to central Altai (Katun basin, according to P.P. Sushkin), Krasnoyarsk and Achinsk. In winter - to Prikamye and Turkestan.

Caucasian goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis brevirostris (K. K. bravirostris)

Smaller than European goldfinches, the wing back is lighter than that of the common goldfinch, with a grayish tint.

Caucasus, Gilan and Mazanderan in the north. Iran, the distribution further to the east remains unclear, according to N.A.Zarudny it is found in the Khorassan zoological site of the Transcaspian Territory.

Black-headed goldfinch

  • Superclass Tetrapoda Class Birds Aves
  • Order Passeriformes - Passeriformes
  • Suborder Singing Passerines - Oscines group Passerida
  • Family Finches - Fringillidae
  • Subfamily Goldfinches - Carduelinae, Cardueline
  • Genus Goldfinches - Carduelis

Black-headed goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis Linnaeus. The size of a sparrow, but slender. The beak is rather long and sharp. Adult birds are bright: around the beak there is a wide red "mask", the tail and wings are black, across the wings there is a yellow transverse stripe. The top of the head is black, the back is brown. The song is a set of sonorous trills, a call-call - "qi-ivit", ending with a scattering trill. In flight, the incessant chirp - "drink-drink-drink", during quarrels - a sharp, crackling cry "re-re-re."

Bird of sparse deciduous and mixed forests and parks. It nests in trees at a height of four to six meters. The nest is a beautiful, graceful, solid structure in the form of a dense cup with a regular hemispherical shape with thick side walls and a rounded deep tray. The lateral walls of the framework of the suite are composed of thin and flexible stems and roots of herbaceous plants, tightly intertwined with each other and fastened with cobwebs. Outside, pieces of moss, plant fluff, scraps of birch bark, and lichens are woven into the walls of the nest. The litter consists mainly of plant fluff (most often willow and poplar) with an admixture of horsehair, wool and feathers. Nest diameter 90-100 mm, tray diameter 40-55 mm, tray depth 25-40 mm. Clutch - 4-5 bluish or greenish eggs with violet-brown spots. The main food is various seeds, especially the seeds of weeds: burdock, horse sorrel, burdock. Chicks are fed with insects.

Based on materials from the site: Birds of Central Siberia

Lifestyle, nutrition, reproduction

In their natural environment, the couple builds nests at the top of the trees, in the shape of the nests are similar to a bowl. They are made from twigs, lichens, pieces of moss. The mating season is in late spring - early summer; a female goldfinch can make two clutches during the season. From the inside, the nest is lined with down and feathers, after which the female lays several eggs. After 2 weeks, small goldfinches are born, they are fed by both parents: first with insects, then with worms and beetles. By the time of the flight, the young will have already grown so strong that they can join the flock.

photo: Shcheglov is loved for their color and singing

Goldfinches are also kept in homes - they are loved for their lively disposition and iridescent singing. Representatives of this species quickly become tame, they can be taught to sit on the shoulder or arm. They keep birds in an aviary or a spacious all-metal cage, it is best to catch goldfinches in late autumn or winter. The cage is placed closer to the sun, in a draft-free room. At first, the caught goldfinch will fight in the cage, so it is recommended to cover it with a thick cloth. As food, you can offer the birds plant seeds, grain mixtures, lettuce, fresh grass, grated carrots, insect larvae, mealworms, grated boiled eggs.

Interesting Goldfinch Facts

  • Goldfinches are very territorial, they do not like competitors, so they can fight with less lively birds,
  • The trills of goldfinches are varied: from whistling and imitation of animal sounds to creaky and harsh shouts,
  • Goldfinches are smart birds that can be taught tricks and tricks
  • If you decide to have a couple of birds, choose a spacious cage or aviary for them - in crowded conditions the goldfinches conflict with each other and stop singing.

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Birds the size of a sparrow. The beak is rather long, sharp, conical. The color of adult birds is bright. There is a wide red “mask” around the beak. The wings and tail are black, with a transverse yellow stripe on the wings. In European and Siberian (black-headed) goldfinches, the top of the head is black, the back is brown.

In Central Asian and South Siberian (gray-headed), the top of the head, back and chest are monochromatic brownish-gray. Juveniles without red “mask”, with longitudinal small streaks on the back and chest.


Inhabitant of mixed and deciduous forests. Inhabits sparse light forests, gardens and parks. It feeds on thistle and burdock bushes and on hemp and sunflower crops. Common wandering bird. It is kept in pairs in spring, in flocks the rest of the time.

The cry is a resounding "drink-drink-drink". The song is a set of sonorous trills. It nests in trees at a height of 4-6 m in April - May. Clutch of 4-5 bluish or greenish eggs with violet-brown or violet-gray specks in May - June. It feeds on seeds and insects.