“Això era i no era, bon viatge fassa la cagarnera…”
The goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) is a bird from the finch family, very lively and restless, with very striking colors and highly appreciated for its fluted and melodious song. Social in nature, they usually go in small groups, making short and fast flights at low altitude.
It is 12 cm long and 23 cm wide, from head to tail, with a conical and sharp beak. Very showy plumage, as we have said before, brown on the back and white with a red spot on the face, while the wings are black with white spots and a yellow spot.
It usually lives in forests and fields, especially near the margins of agricultural plots, also in the dry lands between oaks, almonds and olive trees, where it can find an abundance of seeds to feed on such as thistles, sunflowers, formento, plants and insects.
In autumn, during the migratory season, they usually form quite large herds, moving towards North Africa, in search of milder climates.
In my memory, there is an image that has remained like a still photograph, stuck in the brain, it was from when I was barely 5 years old, in it my great-grandfather appears, with his typical black labrador blouse, the beret and with his Valencian espadrilles . He remains seated in an old cattail chair at the door of the house, at his feet he has a cage with a goldfinch, which as the direction of the weak winter sun changes, he moves it from position, sometimes leaving it on the landing of the small window. Today, I can still hear his singing, as the little bird fluttered, in its limited space, from one twig to the other. And as Pere Brinc said: It may be, it is because I carry this memory, between gray and frozen, that I am happy to see the goldfinches flying over the invisible waves, near the roads, when they search the fields looking for the thistles on which they feed. . And for that reason, too, I think that they are a good omen, a good adventure, that they can fly free and I can follow them until they get lost in the wild foliage of the road.
Playing your song:
And quoting Pere Brincs again: “The voice of the goldfinch is the voice of the nearby countryside, of the wildness between acrobatic and virtuosic. It is a fine, happy call, which always feels limpid in a solitude that is not such. The bird chirps “with a crystalline voice full of clarity, and often finishes his sentences with the same cadence that the old sharpener left when he came to town.”
This is why goldfinches should never be captured and caged, they were born free and should remain free and their song should be heard in nature itself.