This is a very pretty finch common through most of Europe (except the northern forests and tundra), North Africa and the Near East. In all plumages it has a bright golden wing bar and the adults have red and black on the head and a warm tawny back with black wing feathers. This is finch with a thin pointed bill which enables them to extract seeds from plants like teasels.
The small nest is often built in the fork of twigs well away from the main trunk of a tree. Many of the northern birds move south in the winter. They have a very characteristic twinkling call and a noun of association all of their own - a charm. They are closely related to the North American species, to Greenfinches, Linnets and the various siskins. British and Irish population at least 250,000.
Widespread genus of finches - 25 or so species.
The following Bird On! pictures are available:
Length 120 mm Closed wing 80 mm Weight 16 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead