Wednesday, 20 April 2011


The common or garden goldfinch is featured a great deal in paintings of the Madonna and Christ Child and there are several accounts of its importance in terms of Good Friday. The most common legend has it that a goldfinch alighted on the cross and tried to remove thorns from the head of Christ with its beak (hence the bird has a face stained with the blood of Christ). Then again, the bird appears, as above, with the infant Christ as a prophetic symbol of what is to come.
The British Goldfinch and its Siberian cousin are basically the same, a quite gaudy bird with feathers in black, brown, red, white and yellow. Readers from the USA have, I believe, a species that is yellow and black.

Photo: Wikipedia
They are one of my favourite breeds of bird and we have at least 8 pairs that come to take the niger seed from our feeders...this is getting a bit Fr Zish!
Please note: I am being good this week and not posting on controversial issues, in fact, not posting too much really, the approach of Good Friday is something that I always find rather sombre.


  1. For a moment I wiondered if we might get a diatribe against Goldfinches who distribute Communion ;-) Pardon my bizarre sense of humour!

  2. "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is, for brethren to dwell together in unity"

    We can go back to 'normal' next week(only joking ofcourse)!

  3. Birdsong and birds are such a blessing of peace and renewal at this time of year.

  4. The crossbill is so called because it is believed it tried to remove the nails during Christ's crucifixion.

  5. In fact, Herbert Friedman wrote an entire book about the goldfinch as reminder of the Passion.