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Showing posts from March, 2011

Goldfinches

There are a lot of goldfinches in and around Greytown. Indeed, I think they could be the most numerous of birds around here, nothwithstanding sparrows have had something of a comeback this summer. Soon the finches will be flocking for the winter and “charms” of over a hundred goldfinches twittering about the district will be quite common. With their bright red faces and gold wing bars they flutter merrily from plant to plant, often hanging upside down to extract seeds.
The natural range of the goldfinch is Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and Western Asia. Their commonest European name of thistlefinch has been gained because they are particularly fond of the seeds of thistles, particularly the sow thistle.

They were introduced into New Zealand in the 1860s along with other European birds and are probably now more numerous here than in Europe. They were also introduced into Argentina, Bermuda and Australia.
The goldfinch has figured very large in European folklore and the earli…