Re: European Goldfinch at Valle Vista

Joe Morlan

These are interesting birds. The following information on their current
status in California is extracted from "Rare Birds of California" by the
California Bird Records Committee:


EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH Carduelis carduelis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Accepted: 0 Treated in Appendix H: no

Not accepted: 1 CBRC review: all records

Not submitted/reviewed: 2+ Color image: none

This colorful fringillid ranges across central and southern Europe,
eastward across southern Russia to Lake Baikal, and southward to extreme
northern Africa, eastern Pakistan, and central Nepal, excluding the high
mountains east of the Caspian Sea. Birds of northern populations migrate
south for the winter, and the species also tends to vacate the highlands at
this season. Introduced populations persist in New Zealand, southern
Australia, Bermuda, and Uruguay; another population formerly was in New
York. The individuals that occasionally turn up across North America are
all presumed to be escapees (e.g., AOU 1998). European Goldfinches were
reportedly “planted” near San Francisco in 1891, and up to 12 were found in
Marin County as recently as 1937 (Grinnell and Miller 1944). Only one
record has been reviewed by the Committee, but many other occurrences were
not reviewed and were never published. The 4 July 2003 observation of an
adult with three juveniles in Long Beach, Los Angeles County, was termed
“another breeding record of this frequent escapee” (NAB 57:547). Released
and escaped individuals, and their progeny, undoubtedly account for all
California reports of this species.

European Goldfinch – Not accepted, natural occurrence questionable

23–26 Apr 2003 Sea Ranch SON 2003-038 29 ph.

European Goldfinch – Not submitted

20 May 2001 Pt. Pinos MTY NAB 55:354
01 Aug 2001 San Clemente I. LA Sullivan & Kershner (2005:263)


On Sat, 19 May 2012 23:00:14 -0000, "Brent" <> wrote:

I also observed the European Goldfinch today at Valle Vista, shortly after 12pm. It appears to have found a friend, however, as there were two. They were in the pine trees across from the horse shed for a short time, and then flew off towards the lake.

Brent Thordarson
San Jose, CA

--- In, "William" <wclark1969@...> wrote:

I was able to confirm the sighting of EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH today at 10am at Valle Vista. Still at location as described well by Susan.

However, several birders and I had no luck at the No. Saw-Whet Owl nest box between 7:45am and 10:15am. No adults or young sighted.

Two wood duck were in a neighboring oak tree.

--- In, "susan" <sssss10000@> wrote:

Today around 12:30pm I saw a European Goldfinch at Valle Vista. Brilliant Red disc around the beak, white behind that, and yellow on the sides of the wings. Somewhat larger than a nearby chickadee.

To get to the location:
Walk past the owl box (on the right) and past the horse shed (on the left.) Further down on the left is a large bush with white, light pink, and dark pink flowers all on the same bush. Stand with this bush behind you; you will be facing a circle of pine trees between you and the reservoir. The bird was flying around the
tops of these trees and working the pine cones.

This bird is most likely a domestic release.
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA
"Don't discard the Bananaquit" - Hilda Morales

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