Goldfinches rejoice in a number of old rural names including goldie, gold linnet, redcap and King Harry. One old name, thistle finch, reflects the bird’s favourite food and their scientitifc name, Carduelis carduelis, is derived from the Latin for a thistle, Carduus. The collective name for goldfinches, a charm, is derived from the old English c’irm, describing the birds’ twittering song.
This painting is on a highly textured background which reminded me of feathers.
I fell in love with the bird after reading Donna Tart’s epic book, The Goldfinch.
There are three species of goldfinches in the world – the European and two across the Atlantic: the widespread American goldfinch and Lawrence’s goldfinch. The European goldfinches were introduced successfully to both Australia and New Zealand over 100 years ago.
Goldfinches are a symbol of fertility and resurrection, appearing in medieval paintings of the Madonna and Child.