The goldfinch is a bird belonging to the finches family, very common in Europe, North Africa and Western Asia. Its song, very happy and somewhat similar to that of parakeets, has meant that since ancient times it has been raised in captivity, so today it is very common to find it in bird singing competitions.

If you want to have a bird of this type you must learn how to take care of a goldfinch to keep it healthy. That is why in this we share some information that will be of interest to you so that you can achieve it.

Goldfinch characteristics

The European goldfinch or Carduelis carduelis can measure between 12 and 13.5 cm can have an estimated weight of between 14 and 19 grams and a maximum longevity between 8 and 10 years. One of his adult identity signs is on his face, which has a red pigmentation that resembles a mask, while his wings are black with yellow stripes. The back of its body has brown tones, the front is whitish and its tail is black. The characteristics between males and females are almost imperceptible, except for the presence of a darker hue on the male’s face or on his nose feathers. Although there are other varieties of this species such as the yellow or saffron goldfinch that we can see in the image.

The goldfinch can live both in forests and agricultural areas and in cities. In the wild, it feeds mainly on thistle seeds, as well as sunflower or wheat and insects in the breeding season. Pairs usually breed twice a year and nesting lasts about 12 days.


To learn how to properly care for a goldfinch, it is necessary to know that although their diet is granivorous, so they feed especially on seeds, but they also consume wild plants, such as shepherd’s purse, purslane, sorghum, chicory, oats, goldenrod, dandelion, poppy, locks, etc. They can also eat vegetables and fruits, such as lettuce, endives, tomato, strawberries, watermelon, orange, apple, and pear. The important thing is that their diet is varied so that they can obtain all the nutrients they need.

On the other hand, it is vitally important to check the food very well before giving it to the bird. The seeds, especially, can contain pathogenic fungi that if consumed by the bird can cause serious diseases. It is also important to incorporate birdseed into your daily diet, either mixed with other seeds or in a separate feeder. The consumption of birdseed prevents the bird from developing obesity, a condition that can cause infertility among other serious health problems.

Accommodation conditions

An important part of the care of a goldfinch has to do with its place of accommodation. Therefore, in order to choose a suitable bird cage for this species, you should know that it must be wide enough and with several sticks to allow the bird to fly and jump; if the size is very restricted, the animal runs the risk of hitting itself when trying to fly. Also, it should be away from other pets and out of the reach of rodents and wild birds. The temperature must be cool, but not cold, to stimulate energy expenditure and the place must have permanent ventilation.

Hygiene practices

The water must be renewed daily and in summer up to twice a day. The cage and the feeders, tray, grill, cage sticks and water dispenser should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected once a week to prevent the growth of bacteria, parasites and pathogens. If insecticides or disinfectants are used, they must be for ornithological use, that is, suitable for birds, and must be changed periodically to prevent parasites from developing resistance to it. Food that comes into contact with the grill should be discarded, as it has probably been contaminated by excrement.

Goldfinches enjoy playing with water, so they may have an extra container for splashing and bathing, especially in hot weather, but the water must be changed daily.

Likewise, if there is more than one goldfinch in a cage and one of them becomes ill, it must be separated from the group to prevent it from infecting other birds.

Goldfinch protection

Goldfinches are protected birds , that means that their capture is regulated and can only be done by silvestrists (people specialized in capturing specimens for hybridization or singing or beauty contests), who must be licensed and authorized by the relevant institutions according to each region.

During the capture process, only male specimens are allowed to be obtained using a capture net with a maximum length of nine meters. Neither females nor nests should be hunted. Once the specimen is in the possession of the silvestrist, it is marked with closed rings for its control. Capture for commercial purposes is not allowed, only for captive breeding purposes.

The improper hunting and commercialization of the goldfinch not only affects the growth of its population, but also alters the balance of the ecosystem of which it is part. Therefore, we must avoid any practice that puts this bird in danger and go to the authorities in case of witnessing irregularities linked to its capture.

If you liked knowing how to care for a goldfinch, you may also be interested in knowing how to feed a blackbird.


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