Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)


Greenfinches love various seeds, flower buds, Niger seed, insects and nuts. They use their powerful bills to break open seeds which they feed on throughout the year. In winter when food is scarce they rely on bird tables, and the discovery of seeds at a bird table can incite a feeding frenzy and a blur of yellow and green feathers as they compete for food. They will threaten other birds fiercely and often chase them away from bird feeders with their wings raised, tail fanned and bill wide open. Their yellow markings reinforce the visual threat helping to scare other species away.


A little stouter than other Finches with a chunky pink bill, males are greenish all over with various subtle tinges of colour. They have a defined wing bar of brilliant yellow and in flight you’ll see the yellow on the base and sides of the tail. The female has subtler colouring with less yellow on the wing and a brownish hue to the upper parts. In autumn both sexes become less brightly coloured. The juveniles are browner and have a mottled pattern on the back and sides.


Greenfinches are common in woodlands, farmlands, orchards, villages and gardens where there are trees, and they have learned to live close to humans especially where food can be found. They nest in small colonies in trees and bushes building large nests of twigs, moss, roots, stems and plant wool. They produce 2 or 3 broods a year consisting of 4-6 whitish eggs with brown and black speckling which they incubate for 12-15 days.

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