European Goldfinch  (Chardonneret élégant) This species is on the OBRC review list for northern Ontario.  All sightings should be documented and reported.

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Spinus carduelis

Description:    European Goldfinch
Photo Date:   November 5, 2007


Bradley Subdivision, Englehart


Pam Yantha

General Notes

European Goldfinches are considered to be an exotic species in Ontario and have yet to be proven as arriving on their own in the province. All  reports are currently considered escapees by the birding authorities.  There has been an increase in reports in recent years, but their status is still considered dubious as a wild bird.  Apparently, a large importer of birds in the Chicago area released a great many birds of a number of different European species around 2002 when he decided to go out of business.  European Goldfinches seem to have been the most numerous among them, and they seem to have dispersed widely from a Chicago epicenter. There were also reports of Eurasian birds from the area prior to that time, probably ones that escaped from the poorly-maintained quarantine station. 

There is a possibility that escaped European Goldfinches are increasing their numbers in North America by breeding here. Any evidence that might indicate nesting or breeding behavior should be carefully recorded in as much detail as possible and reported.

More information can be found here.

Abundance: Rare
Breeding Status: Accidental

Documented Observations

May of 2003 (approximate date). One observed coming to a feeder in Kenabeek by Lorne and Inez Reed.

November 14, 2004 - January 9, 2005. One observed coming to a feeder in Gowganda by Gertrude Trudel. Photographs on file.

May 24, 2006. One was observed coming to a feeder in Matachewan by Gayle King.

November 5-6, 2007. One observed visiting a feeder with Red-winged Blackbirds in Englehart by Pam Yantha. Also viewed by Clem, Ryley and Larissa Yantha. Photograph on file.

March 5, 2008. One observed and photographed by Ghislain Falardeau in St. Bruno-de-Guigues, Quebec. The bird was below feeders with American Goldfinches.

June 6, 2009. One observed and photographed by Serge Gendron in Englehart.