Any of several species (genus Carduelis, family Carduelidae) of songbirds that have a short, notched tail and much yellow in the plumage. All have a bill that is more delicate and sharply pointed than that of most finches. They live in flocks, feeding on weeds in fields and gardens. They have high, lisping calls. Various species live in western Eurasia and North and South America and have been introduced into New Zealand and Australia. They are typically 4–5.5 in. (10–14 cm) long. The male of the American goldfinch (or wild canary), found across North America, is bright yellow, with black cap, wings, and tail.
Learn more about goldfinch with a free trial on Britannica.com.