|Male above, female below|
Carduelis chloris (but see article text)
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
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.
Breeding season occurs in spring, starting in the second half of March, until June, with fledging young in early July. Incubation lasts about 13-14days, by female. Male feeds her at nest during this period. Chicks are covered with thick, long, greyish-white down at hatching. They are fed on insect larvae by both adults during the first days, and later, by frequent regurgitated yellowish past of seeds. They leave the nest about 13 days later but they are not able to fly. Usually, they fledge 16–18 days after hatching. This species produces two or three broods per year.
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- Bensouilah, Taqiyeddine; Hafid Brahmia; Ali Zeraoula; Zihad Bouslama; Moussa Houhamdi (2014). "Breeding biology of the European Greenfinch Chloris chloris in the loquat orchards of Algeria (North Africa)". Zoology and Ecology. 24(3):199–207.
- Kosiński, Ziemowit (2001). "The Breeding Ecology of the Greenfinch Carduelis chloris in Urban Conditions (Study in Krotoszyn, W Poland)". Acta Ornithologica. 36(2):111–121.
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