Peadar na Breac's picture

Alas for this Charmer

Observed: 1st February 2013 By: Peadar na BreacPeadar na Breac’s reputation in BirdsPeadar na Breac’s reputation in BirdsPeadar na Breac’s reputation in Birds

Got home early, looked out at birds on and around feeder.All present and correct, nothing out of place.Quickly upstairs to tie flies, one hour or so later back downstairs and there under one of the feeders is this Goldfinch apparently asleep.So grabbed camera and crept out to take some photographs.Even when I lifted him up he only woke up long enough for me to take a pic then he turned his head back in to his feathers and alas woke no more.He was dead within three hours.Does anyone have any suggestions as to what caused his demise?I have a couple of ideas myself but I Won't colour the waters with them now.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) interacts


mattprince1969's picture

Looks immaculate..

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Fenwickfield's picture


I have only had this a couple of times with a greenfinch and chaffinch and both times they had flew into the window lay on the ground for ten minutes or so then died.I did manage to put on in the warmth for an hour and that survived.Each time this happened I had just cleaned my windows so I try not to now as I don't want it happening again anyway just a thought.

Wonderful poem mattprince


Peadar na Breac's picture


Dylan, the very man.Fierce tears!
Cheers Matt

Peadar na Breac's picture

Thanks Fenwickfield...

Concussion is a possibility but less likely I feel at this time of year due to the fact that all the birds are mature and a lot less likely to fly in to windows. But of course it can't be ruled out and may well be the case.I did by the way put him in a warm dark place for if nothing else to cause him as little stress as possible.
Regards Peadar

ophrys's picture


...might be a she and a mature she at that. A bird born before 2012, at least, with rounded tail feathers and a bright greater covert bar. Pattern of red and colour of nasal hairs looks like a female.


My Flickr photos...

Peadar na Breac's picture

Blimey with...

that amount of gold I was sure it was a male.Thanks for your pointers Ian.
Regards Peadar

ophrys's picture

Sex basic terms they are sexed on nasal hair colour (needs a good view...brown in females, black in males), pattern of red above eye (concave in females, convex in males) and edges of lesser coverts (brown edged in females, not in males...not visible here). The yellow is common to both sexes.


My Flickr photos...

Aláine's picture


Peadar, there's a disease which affects Irish garden birds spreading rampantly at the moment. Trichomoniasis causes leissons in the throat and glands of garden birds which essentially prevents them from feeding. In the advice Birdwatch Ireland issued they strongly recomended washing and dissinfecting any feeders an infected individual was in contact with and postphoning feeding for a while. Not sure if that's what lead to your goldfinch's demise but here's a link for information on it from Birdwatch Ireland none the less;
Hope it's of some help,


Peadar na Breac's picture

Hi Aláine...

Thanks for the link.Although I didn't know of this disease by name I had seen pictures of infected birds and knew to wash my feeders etc. But now I'm worried because at the weekend I noticed one of my Siskin's all fluffed up were as the others were far from it. I do wash my feeder's but maybe not often enough and will now move them around more.
Thanks again