The feeding ecology and breeding biology of the goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis Linnaeus, 1758), at Havelock North, New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Zoology

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Massey University
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1.1: AIMS OF THE STUDY During the past ten years increasing attention has been drawn to damage caused to soft fruits by the European Goldfinch, Carrluelis carduelis Linnaeus, 1758, * Nomenclature for New Zealand birds follows that laid down in the Annotated Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand (Kinsky, l970). Other bird species are as prescribed in the Handbook of British Birds (Witherby etal, 1943) or in the specific reference works quoted. (Dawson 1967, Dawson and Bull 1970, Long 1970). The present study was undertaken in an endeavour to find out more about the food habits of this bird in the district where many of the reports of this damage originated. The aims of this study were to examine 1) the feeding ecology of the adult Goldfinch; 2) the diet of the nestlings; 3) the extent of crop damage caused by the Goldfinch. Because investigation of nestling diet involved numerous visits to nests, aspects of breeding biology were investigated. Also large numbers of goldfinches were measured during the study and it seemed appropriate to compare data with recent work investigating the subspecific status of the Goldfinch in New Zealand (Hiethammer,l971). A number of smaller points were of interest. Newton (1967a) states that in all the carduelines which feed animal and vegetable matter to their young, the proportion of invertebrates given declines with increasing age of the young. After about the tenth day the young often receive seeds only. This was examined. [FROM INTRODUCTION]