We have Goldfinch visitors to the reflection pool, here in Slovenia. They are alert to any danger and approach cautiously.
Drinking makes you vulnerable, so they must take care. Goldfinches use the standard method of drinking used by birds. They can’t suck (or use straws, for that matter) so they have to fill their lower mandible with water and then tip their heads back so it runs down their throat. It’s not a very efficient system.
We’ve been fascinated with Goldfinches for centuries. The first book illustration of one is from Conrad Gessner’s book Historia animalium, published in Zurich in 1555.
His five volume set was a Renaissance revelation. The Goldfinch is called De Carduele here because of its association with thistles (carduus in Latin). The scientific name of the European Goldfinch is Carduelis carduelis.
They’re joined by a beautiful juvenile, with it gorgeously spotted breast.
What a great view.
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