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GOLDFINCH
Carduelis carduelis
Goldfinch © Tommy Holden
 

• Population
  changes

• Productivity
  trends

• Additional
  information

Conservation listings
Europe: no SPEC category (favourable conservation status in Europe, not concentrated in Europe)
UK: green
Long-term trend
England: fluctuating, with no long-term trend
UK population size
313,000 territories in 2000 (1988–91 Atlas estimate updated using CBC/BBS trend: BiE04, APEP06)
Status summary
Goldfinch abundance fell sharply from the mid 1970s until the mid 1980s, but the decline was both preceded and followed by significant population increases. The recent upturn has lifted the species from the amber list of conservation concern into the green category, and has been accompanied by an increase in its use of gardens for winter feeding. These population changes can be explained almost entirely by changes in annual survival rates, which may have resulted from a reduction in the availability of weed seeds, due to agricultural intensification, and subsequent increased use of other food sources such as garden bird tables. Alternatively, the effects of environmental change or increased hunting pressure in France and Iberia, where the migrant majority of the population wintered, may have temporarily reduced survival rates (Siriwardena et al. 1999). There has been some long-term reduction in productivity as measured by CES.
 

Population changes

CBC/BBS England graph
 
Table of population changes for Goldfinch

Source Period
(yrs)
Years Plots
(n)
Change
(%)
Lower
limit
Upper
limit
Alert Comment
CBC/BBS England 39 1967-2006 382 18 -11 53    
  25 1981-2006 543 28 8 48    
  10 1996-2006 1103 24 17 30    
  5 2001-2006 1213 13 7 18    
CES adults 22 1984-2006 33 14 -44 77    
  10 1996-2006 40 -19 -40 10    
  5 2001-2006 38 -7 -34 36    
CES juveniles 22 1984-2006 19 -45 -74 16   Small sample
  10 1996-2006 23 -11 -46 24    
  5 2001-2006 22 12 -34 75    
BBS UK 11 1995-2006 1266 35 25 47    
  10 1996-2006 1309 34 25 45    
  5 2001-2006 1501 16 10 22    
BBS England 11 1995-2006 1036 24 17 32    
  10 1996-2006 1067 25 18 32    
  5 2001-2006 1213 14 10 19    
BBS Scotland 11 1995-2006 73 58 14 126    
  10 1996-2006 76 48 7 99    
  5 2001-2006 84 18 -7 50    
BBS Wales 11 1995-2006 115 56 21 113    
  10 1996-2006 120 45 14 93    
  5 2001-2006 142 -1 -9 11    
BBS N.Ireland 11 1995-2006 34 543 . .    
  10 1996-2006 37 442 . .    
  5 2001-2006 52 101 . .    

BBS acknowledgement
 
CES adult abundance graph
CES juvenile abundance graph
BBS UK graph
BBS England graph
BBS Scotland graph
BBS Wales graph
 

Productivity trends

Table of productivity changes for Goldfinch

Variable Period
(yrs)
Years Mean
annual
sample
Trend Modelled
in first year
Modelled
in 2006
Change Comment
Clutch size 38 1968-2006 19 None       Small sample
Brood size 38 1968-2006 32 None        
Daily failure rate (eggs) 38 1968-2006 35 None        
Daily failure rate (chicks) 38 1968-2006 29 None       Small sample
Laying date 38 1968-2006 22 Linear decline Jun 6 May 30 -7 days Small sample
Juvenile to Adult ratio (CES) 22 1984-2006 38 Smoothed trend 267 Index value 100 Index value -63% >50  
Juvenile to Adult ratio (CES) 10 1996-2006 46 Smoothed trend 148 Index value 100 Index value -32%  
Juvenile to Adult ratio (CES) 5 2001-2006 45 Smoothed trend 164 Index value 100 Index value -39%  

 
Clutch size graph
Brood size graph
Egg nest failure graph
Chick nest failure graph
Laying date graph
CES productivity graph
 

Additional information

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This report should be cited as:
Baillie, S.R., Marchant, J.H., Leech, D.I., Joys, A.C., Noble, D.G.,
Barimore, C., Grantham, M.J., Risely, K. & Robinson, R.A. (2009).
Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2008.
BTO Research Report No. 516. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends)

Pages maintained by Iain Downie, Mandy T Andrews and Laura Smith: Last updated 18.02.2009