Query: Human-Goldfinch Interactions

Keri Cronin's picture


I have a student who is working on a project about the representation of goldfinch in art. She wants to read widely about the history of
human-goldfinch interactions, including the history of keeping these birds as pets. I wonder if anyone on this list might have any suggestions for
texts or readings that would be helpful for her.

Thanks and all the best,

J. Keri Cronin, PhD
Associate Professor, Visual Arts
Brock University | Faculty of Humanities
Niagara Region   |  1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way
St. Catharines, ON  L2S 3A1
brocku.ca | T  905 688 5550 x5306

Not especially about goldfinches, but mentioning them:
Louise E. Robbins, Elephant Slaves and Pampered Parrots: Exotic Animals in Eighteenth-Century Paris, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002
Julia Breittruck, "Pet Birds. Cages and Practices of Domestication in Eighteenth-Century Paris", in: InterDisciplines 1 (2012)
If your student is into music as well, she should check out compositions of Olivier Messiaen, who has goldfinch ("chardonneret") songs in several of his (heavily birdsong-influenced) compositions, e.g. in "Le traquet stapazin" from "Catalogue d'oiseaux". An older example is Vivaldi's Flute Concerto "Il Gardellino".
Interesting topic - all the best for your student!
Martin Ullrich

Also this book mentions (European) goldfinches:
Sonia Roberts, Bird-Keeping and Birdcages: A History, Newton Abbot, 1972.
It might also be helpful to ask Julia Breittruck if she has more suggestions - she wrote a dissertation (in German) on relations between humans and pet birds in the French Enlightenment.
Amir Zelinger