© Simo Mikkonen © Simo Mikkonen

© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, Jouko Lehmuskallio, Simo Mikkonen, M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.


Chloris chloris

  • Latin synonym: Carduelis chloris
  • Name also: European Greenfinch
  • Family: Finches – Fringillidae
  • Appearance: A largish, stocky finch, with distinctive greenish colouring. Body, head and beak all thickset. Best distinguished by yellow edges to tail and yellow outermost wing feathers.
  • Size: Length 14–16 cm, weight 25–35 g.
  • Nest: In a tree or bush with dense foliage at a height of 1-5 metres (occasionally as high as 12 m). Made of dry twigs, moss, roots and plant stems, lined with grass buds, hair, feathers and Willowherb seed hairs.
  • Breeding: 3–7 eggs laid in March–April, incubated by female for 13–14 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 18 days. May raise three broods.
  • Distribution: Breeds nowadays as far north as northern Lapland, especially around built up areas and farmland. Finnish breeding population estimated at 170,000–400,000 pairs. Has become more common due to winter feeding.
  • Migration: By day. Many birds may also winter in Finland. Migrants leave September–November, returning March–April after wintering in Western Europe.
  • Diet: Seeds of wild flowers and roses. A common visitor to garden bird tables.
  • Calls: A plucking sound “dyu-dyup”. Song chirpy like song of Canary, most often heard in early spring. At other times makes a wheezy call similar to the call of the Brambling.
  • Endangerment: Endangered, protected in Finland. Globally Least concern.

Greenfinches are best distinguished by the yellow edges to their tails and wings, and the greenish tinge to their plumage, which varies in intensity between individuals of different age and sex. They also have quite distinctive thick beaks. Males are particularly green in colouring with bright yellow markings. Females are more greyish green with duller yellow markings. Juveniles resemble females in colouring, but their backs are more brownish, and their bellies are streaked. Greenfinches have pinkish legs, dark-tipped pinkish beaks and brown irises.

Other species from the same family

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