The goldfinch is song, pure song. It is his singing, in fact, what makes him famous, which has made him the protagonist and sought after and today he is a protected and much loved species. Officially since 1758 the goldfinch responds to the name of "Carduelis carduelis Linnaeus " but he is not offended if we keep calling him confidentially singing goldfinch, is a passerine belonging to the finch family and, in its slender 12 cm, is recognized by a red mask on the face and a wide yellow wing bar.
Originally from central Sweden, with his own I sing the goldfinch invaded Europe and North Africa, up to Persia and the Canary Islands, while in Siberia - yes, even there its song resists - there is the subspecies known as "Carduelis Major", larger in size, less brown in color. The goldfinch with Italian citizenship he prefers the South, Campania above all the South. There he delights visitors to the Cilento and Vesuvius National Parks with his song.
The name "goldfinch”Comes from the plant of thistle, whose seeds take this sweet singing bird by the throat, especially if red. In addition to these, eat seeds of sorrel, agrimony, chicory, romice, senecio, dandelion, crespigno and, only after the thistle, adores those of sunflower especially if served "on the table" outdoors and with the elegance of a yellow manger like the sun. During the reproductive and moulting periods, it enriches its diet with animal proteins by feeding on small insects, beetles, larvae, etc.
Red in the face, yellow in part on the body, for the rest goldfinch it has a plumage that goes from the white of the cheeks, to the black of the nape, of the tail and of the external part of the wings, to the dark brown of the back. To distinguish the sex in the first months of life the most experienced - but I will reveal it to you - look at the little ones wing coverts, "The shoulder pads" of this bird that has something elegant, always. If they are greenish-gray instead of black, it is a female. Otherwise we are faced with a male goldfinch which usually sports a whitish-gray rump, black wings and tail with typical white “pearls”, white belly, white chest polluted with brown.
Males and females of the goldfinch are also distinguished by the I sing that reaches the peak of beauty when their heart is in love. Predictable, perhaps, but less predictable are the vocalizations that their small bodies are capable of producing. And, yes, the most romantic is the male, in goldfinch, the one who is not ashamed to make his beloved feel his feelings.
If the female responds, if she responds, with monotonous sounds, as if to make the indecisive, the goldfinch in love who wants to win her, he insists warbling in the position of an inspired artist. It stands firmly on the perch and slightly opens its beak keeping the wings adherent to the body. How to tell him no?
Like so many of the beauties of nature, most, too the song of the goldfinch it is indomitable. Almost. It is a hereditary gift and training has little fruit. Not like the canary. But if you do match the natural talent of the goldfinch with the gentlest colleague canary, here is a hybrid that captures the best of both and knows how to amaze with singing, without making his parents regret.
Returning to ours goldfinch pure, perhaps a little jealous like so many artists are, he too has his own personal repertoire. The performances, therefore, and the vocalizations they vary from goldfinch to goldfinch. The three main ones play onomatopoeic 'Zipè', 'Ble ble' and 'Zio', if performed in sequence this is the perfection point of the song of the goldfinch reached. To the delight of our ears.
We are certainly not the first, of this age of little listening, to let ourselves be enchanted bygoldfinch, for his singing, and for much more. Already a Neapolitan legend attributed to him the ability to change the destiny of those who listen to him, but the goldfinch "Comes out", again he, also in Ovid's Metamorphoses, in pagan mythology, and then in Christianity, as well as in a score of the same name for flute concert, "The Goldfinch", signed by Antonio Vivaldi.
Contrary to what one would expect from a vocalist like him, in life the goldfinch he is not at all a loner, on the contrary, he loves to gather in large groups to flit among the branches of the trees without missing acrobatics and somersaults. He frequents orchards, vegetable gardens, house gardens, groves and parks: he loves greenery, he is a decidedly green bird. If you can't have it live, at least in a plush version, remembering its singing, perhaps with a Vivaldi CD in the stereo.
Did you know that this little bird is one of the most common victims of poaching? Read more in the dedicated article