Finches Fringillidae

Finches are seed eaters, many of which can be identified by their beaks, specialised for different plants.

Gold Finch Carduelis carduelis: Thin billed and specialising in thistles, teasels and groundsels. A delightful little bird with a tinkling call. Brightly coloured, with neatly delineated patches of red, black, white and yellow (juveniles lack this strong coloration). Light bouncy flight, showing white rump and yellow wing bar on black wings. Black forked tail. Common on woodland edges, open country with lots of thistles and other weeds. Comes together in flocks in the autumn and winter.

Brambling Fringilla montifrigilla (Fr. Pinson du nord): Visits gardens in winter, joins flocks of chaffinches and other finches in farmland and nearby woodland. Can be seen from September to May.

A Brambling that was hit by a car.


  1. In Winter, keep an eye open for mixed flocks of small passerines [LBJs to birders]....
    anything might be "lurking" amongst a large flock of Goldfinches, Chaffinches and Greenfinches...
    Cirl Buntings, Reed Buntings and Corn Buntings all join these flocks....
    as do assorted tits.
    But also some of the "woodland" species can be spotted as they leave cover and join in the relative safety of the winter flocks.

  2. Tim: Thanks for this practical fieldcraft advice.