Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..

2018 Photo Comp opens for entries

Date posted: 27-Nov-2017

The 2018 Photo Competition is now open for entries. Click here (/2018-photo-competition-tiritiri-mat..

New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..

2017 Photo Competition

Date posted: 22-Mar-2017

It is that time of year again when we are looking for entries for our photo competition (and phot..

The 2017 concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2017

This year's concert promises to be another wonderful and unique experience. Click here (/concert-..

Shorebird Film Festival at Devonport

Date posted: 26-Oct-2016

Click here (/miscellaneous documents/DevWaderFilms.jpg) for details of a forthcoming film festival c..


Scientific name:

 Carduelis cardeulis



Conservation status

 Introduced and naturalised

Mainland status:

 Common and widespread


 13cm, 16g (male) 15g (female)


 7-8 years possibly


 October - March


 Seeds and insects

Gold finch -  Photography by:  Dr Kerry RodgersIntroduced from Europe between 1862 and 1883 and now common throughout New Zealand in farmland, orchards and gardens.

A small colourful finch with striking gold bars on black wings. The adults have a brilliant red face, white ear coverts and neck, and a black crown and half-collar. The upperparts and breast are light brown and the underparts and rump are white. The black tail is spotted white near the tip. The call note is a shrill ‘pee-yu’ and the male also sings a pleasant, twittering ‘tsitt-witt-witt’.

Goldfinches eat mainly weed seeds such as thistle, redroot, storksbill and meadowgrass and a variety of invertebrates such as aphids, bugs, flies, caterpillars and spiders.

They gather in large flocks in autumn and winter and then form pairs to breed from October to March. The neat cup nest of grasses, mosses, fine twigs, wool and cobwebs is lined with thistledown. The clutch of 2–6 pale bluish grey eggs with reddish brown spots and streaks is incubated by the female for 11–13 days. The chicks fledge at between 12 and 17 days and continue to be fed by regurgitation by both parents for 2–3 weeks after fledging. Juveniles are easily recognised by the absence of markings on the head and face.

Goldfinches are often seen on Tiritiri Matangi, in flocks on Corornary Hill and other grassy areas, especially in autumn and winter, and in pairs and singles along the edges of the main tracks during spring and summer.

Find out more about goldfinches at New Zealand Birds Online.

Goldfinch - photographer: Max McRae

Photography by: Dr Kerry Rodgers © (right) and by Max McRae © (left)

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking. Moon, G The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Birds.