On Sunday I spent an hour or two watching the to-ings and fro-ings of four Goldfinches, three juveniles, and their parent. It’s gratifying to see the adults that have fed in my garden bringing their offspring to feed. The juvenile fledglings still dependent on their parents pleaded urgently for food through wing-fluttering and loud begging notes. By this age they look as though they weigh as much as, or more than, their parent ( for more information see: Smith 1980 ). After being fed, one of the youngsters felt comfortable enough to sleep.
Goldfinches can be seen easily in Orchard Park, they move around in groups drawing attention to themselves through their liquid twittering call. Wild food includes teasels and thistles, but in the garden they’ll take Nyjer seed and Sunflower hearts, both requiring a specialist feeder. It’s worth it to put food out for them and to be patient, as you’ll be rewarded by seeing this highly coloured bird up close, and hearing their lovely twittering song.