In some of its structural characters it is most nearly allied to the goldfinch, and both are placed in the same genus by systematists; but in its style of coloration, and still more in its habits; it resembles the redpolls (cf.
The nest of the siskin is very like that of the goldfinch, but seldom so neatly built; the eggs, except in their smaller size, much resemble those of the greenfinch.
Some of these relatives lead almost insensibly to the greenfinch (ut supra) and its allies, others to the goldfinch (ut supra), the redpolls and so on.
On this theory the yellowbird or NorthAmerican "goldfinch," C. tristis, would seem, with its immediate allies, to rank among the highest forms of the group, and the pinegoldfinch, C. pinus, of the same country, to be one of the lowest the cock of the former being generally of a bright yellow hue, with black crown, tail and wings - the last conspicuously barred with white, while neither hens nor young exhibit any striations.
Aristotle seems to recognize eight principal groups: (1) Gampsonyches, approximately equivalent to the Accipitres of Linnaeus; (2) Scolecophaga, containing most of what would now be called Oscines, excepting indeed the (3) Acanthophaga, composed of the goldfinch, siskin and a few others; (4) Scnipophaga, the woodpeckers; (5) Peristeroide, or pigeons; (6) Schizopoda, (7) Steganopoda, and (8) Barea, nearly the same respectively as the Linnaean Grallae, Anseres and Gallinae.
There are many insectivorous birds; among the song birds are the hermit thrush, the wood thrush, the Wilson's thrush, the brown thrasher, the bobolink, the catbird, the oven bird, the house wren, the song sparrow, the fox sparrow, the vesper sparrow, the white-throated sparrow (Peabody bird), the goldfinch and the robin.
Hybrids are also common, the canary breeding freely with the siskin, goldfinch, citril, greenfinch and linnet.
Fringilla), a name applied (but almost always in composition - as bullfinch, chaffinch, goldfinch, hawfinch, &c.) to a great many small birds of the order Passeres, and now pretty generally accepted as that of a group or family - the Fringillidae of most ornithologists.
A similar festal intention in design and colouring, with similar mastery in passages and even less sense of harmonious relations in the whole, is apparent in a second important picture painted by Darer at Venice, "The Virgin and Child with the Goldfinch," formerly in the collection of Lord Lothian and now at Berlin.
There are also two species of owl, three species of sea-mew, the stockdove, quail, raven, magpie, chaffinch, goldfinch, blackcap, canary, titmouse, blackbird, house-swallow, &c. As to the insects, mention may be made of a species of gnat or mosquito which is sometimes troublesome, especially to strangers.
Returning to the true finches, the only one which can compete with the house-sparrow in the extent of its distribution by man is the goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), now established all over New Zealand, as well as in Australia, the United States and Jamaica.