Thistle Finch, Gold Linnet, Gold Spink, Foolscoat
One of Ireland's top-20 most widespread garden birds.
Status: Resident. Some additional birds may arrive from Continent in winter.
Conservation Concern: Green-listed in Ireland. The European population has been evaluated as Secure.
Identification: Smaller than a Chaffinch, this brightly-coloured finch has become a familiar sight at garden nut feeders in recent years. Striking black and yellow wings usually catch the eye first, but the scarlet red "face" and black and white head markings are equally striking, set off against a rather plain brown back and whitish underside. The tail is black with white spots and the rump white. Very active, has a bounding flight and can occur in large flocks.
Similar Species: Greenfinch, Chaffinch
Call: Song a liquidy, rather quiet string of twitters, not unlike a Swallow. Anxiety note a questioning "queue", rising towards end.
Diet: Mostly seeds - especially fine seeds of grasses and thistles. Will readily use peanut feeders.
Breeding: Breeds throughout Ireland - in hedgerows, orchards, parks and gardens. Delicate nest of moss, hairs and feathers in fork, quite high in hedge or tree.
Where to See: Common and widespread in Ireland.
Monitored by: Countryside Bird Survey & Garden Bird Survey.