|Male above, female below|
Chloris chloris (but see article text)
The European Greenfinch, or just Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris) is a small passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae. The genus Carduelis might be split up and in this case, the greenfinches would be separated in their old genus Chloris again.
This bird is widespread throughout Europe, north Africa and south west Asia. It is mainly resident, but some northernmost populations migrate further south. The Greenfinch has also been introduced into both Australia and New Zealand. In Malta it is considered a prestigious song bird which has been trapped for many years. It has been domesticated and many Maltese people breed them.
The Greenfinch is 15 cm long with a wing span of 24.5 to 27.5 cm. It is similar in size and shape to a House Sparrow, but is mainly green, with yellow in the wings and tail. The female and young birds are duller and have brown tones on the back. The bill is thick and conical. The song contains a lot of trilling twitters interspersed with wheezes, and the male has a "butterfly" display flight.
Behaviour and ecology
Woodland edges, farmland hedges and gardens with relatively thick vegetation are favoured for breeding. It nests in trees or bushes, laying 3 to 8 eggs.
This species can form large flocks outside the breeding season, sometimes mixing with other finches and buntings. They feed largely on seeds, but also take berries.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Carduelis chloris". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Jobling, James A (1991). A Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. OUP. ISBN 0-19-854634-3.
- Arnaiz-Villena, Antonio; Alvarez-Tejado M., Ruiz-del-Valle V., García-de-la-Torre C., Varela P, Recio M. J., Ferre S., Martinez-Laso J. (1998). "Phylogeny and rapid Northern and Southern Hemisphere speciation of goldfinches during the Miocene and Pliocene Epochs". Cell.Mol.Life.Sci. 54(9):1031–41.
- Arnaiz-Villena, A; Zamora J, Ernesto L, Ruiz-del-Valle V, Moscoso J, Serrano-Vela JI, Rivero-de-Aguilar J (2006). "Rhodopechys obsoleta (desert finch): a pale ancestor of greenfinches(Carduelis spp.) according to molecular phylogeny". Journal of Ornithology 147 (3. p. 448–456.).
- Zamora, J; Moscoso J, Ruiz-del-Valle V, Ernesto L, Serrano-Vela JI, Ira-Cachafeiro J, Arnaiz-Villena A (2006). "Conjoint mitochondrial phylogenetic trees for canaries Serinus spp. and goldfinches Carduelis spp. show several specific polytomies". Ardeola. 53(1): 1–17.
- The Birds of the Western Palearctic [Abridged]. OUP. 1997. ISBN 0-19-854099-X.
- European Greenfinch videos, photos & sounds on the Internet Bird Collection
- Ageing and sexing (PDF; 5.8 MB) by Javier Blasco-Zumeta & Gerd-Michael Heinze
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