Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018


Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

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


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.