Gold-Finch, or Fringilla carduelis, L. is a native of Europe, and is sometimes also found in Asia and Africa.
This bird is peculiarly beautiful in its colour, of an elegant form, and strikes melodious notes. Its bill is white, tipped with black, and its forehead and chin of a rich scarlet tint, divided by a line passing from each corner of the bill to the eyes, which are black.
Gold-finchos begin to sing early in the spring, and continue to whistle the greater part of the year, when kept in a cage. In a state of confinement, they are much attached to their keepers, and will learn a variety of little tricks, such as to draw up small vessels containing hemp or Ca-nary-seeds, and water; to fire squibs or crackers, etc.
Gold-finches construct very neat and compact nests with moss, dried grass, and roots, which they line with wool, hair, the down of thistles, and other soft substances. The females lay five white eggs, marked with deep purple spots at the larger end: they feed their young with caterpillars and insects; but the old birds subsist on various kinds of seeds, especially those of the thistle, of which they are extremely fond.
As these birds are frequently liable to be sick, it will be requisite to allow them every day a little groundsel, and some saffron in their water. If they are lax, a small portion of chalk should be given them, either by fixing it to the side of the cage, or crumbling it on the bottom.
Red sand, or gravel, should likewise be strewed every day in their habitation; for, as they chiefly subsist on oily seeds, the gravel or sand will qualify, and absorb the oil to their stomachs. - Gold-finches will breed with the Canary-bird: this intermixture is most successful between the male finch and the female Canary, whose offspring is produ6tive, and is said to resemble the male in the bill, the colours of the head, and wings; and the hen, in the rest of the body.