All is not gold

Following on from my last post – I wonder why the goldfinch is so called? It has, of course, a bar of yellow on its wings; but far more striking, to my mind, is its red mask. But then, I suppose the ‘Red-faced Finch’ would be less euphonious, if more accurate.

Curiously, the American goldfinch is actually gold, or at least yellow, almost all over and is therefore more appropriately named. Yet the name must have been brought over from Europe by the first settlers. In fact, I can almost see that rugged, fur-capped pioneer peering up into a tree and muttering, “Heck, now that really is something like a gold finch!”

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