serins and goldfinches


We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).
Wildlife questions

serins and goldfinches

  • Hi I have had 4 serins in my garden the last 2 weeks 3 male and 1 female I think this is quite rare rarely seen before april is that right?


    I also have 3 male and 2 femail goldfinches we live near Reading in Berkshire anyone else seen these



  • Hi there,

    Serins are rare visitors from southern Europe. They occur as close to us as northern France in summer but spend their winters further south. Serins are not generally seen at all in Britain before mid-spring and then mainly when the weather is very fine, as this fools the odd one or two into migrating further north than it should. Also they don't habitually visit gardens...

    Siskins and Yellowhammers, which are often mistaken for Serins, do turn up frequently in gardens, especially in winter. So it's more likely that you have one of these two species, but if you have a photo of them, please post it here and we'll double check the ID for you :)

  • Hi aiki

    It is definetely not a goldhammer or a siskin I have a few of those already I am sure one of them is a female serin as it has a flash of yellow halfway down its wing and a dumpy beak

    regards ambardog

  • Hi there,I am hopeless when it comes to sexing Goldfinches even though we get so many visiting :0(

  • Hi Sheena

    the goldfinches male have red heads black and white on the necks beige underneath and a bright yell ow and black tail remind nme of a small parrot very beautifull the femals are of a more duller colour

    Hope this helps Pam

  • Hi Sheena the male goldfinch have bright red heads and black and white rins of colour behind that beigh underneath and beautifull yell anf black striped tails like a small parrot. The female is more dull in colour hope this helps Pam

  • Sheena

    Hi there,I am hopeless when it comes to sexing Goldfinches even though we get so many visiting :0(

    You need a good view, the differences are subtle - this might help: ETA - so might this:

  • Thankyou Aiki,I know what to look for but never seem to know for sure ha ha.I just find it real hard.

  • The differences between male and female goldfinches are too subtle to see unless the bird is in your hand, on a photo, or close up and seen through good binos, IMHO.

  • Didn't even know you could sex goldfinches, learn something new every day.

  • Hi everyone, I get lots of goldfinches in my garden and Im sure the Male has red all around the eye and on the Female the red stops halfway across the eye.  

  • Hi,

    The red on the male extends slightly behind the eye, whilst on the female it stops at the end of the eye. The difference is, as Aiki says, very subtle. Have a look at the link she gave. There are photos of males and females to compare.

  • We get around 50 coming in and it is just the hardest thing to sex, ha ha.Give me Blackbirds anyday ha ha :0)))

  • Well, thanks for that, aiki. As Saltwells says, I didn't know you could sex goldfinches either! I shall look at them with added interest in the future.