European goldfinch

Beautiful chirper

European goldfinch, photo Eero Haapanen.

The European goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) is a common bird in Helsinki. It can often be heard chirping in open places and seen landing on cultivated plots to feed on the seeds of weeds. Some bird feeders are visited by large numbers of goldfinches.

It calls out with a ringing tick-le, tick-le during flight. Its song consists of varied, cheerful and beautiful chirping. The European goldfinch also sports an unusually coloured plumage, like that of tropical birds. Due to their beautiful song and colourful plumage, European goldfinches were kept as cage birds in the past.