From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Carduelis flavirostris.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Genus: Carduelis
Species: C. flavirostris
Binomial name
Carduelis flavirostris
(Linnaeus, 1758)

C. f. flavirostris
C. f. altaica


Fringilla flavirostris Linnaeus, 1758

Twite eggs from the collection of the MHNT

The twite (Carduelis flavirostris) is a small passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae. It is similar in size and shape to a linnet, at 13 to 13.5 centimetres (5.1 to 5.3 in) long. It lacks the red head patch and breast shown by the linnet and the redpolls. It is brown streaked with black above, and a pink rump. The underparts are buff to whitish, streaked with brown. The conical bill is yellow in winter and grey in summer. The call is a distinctive twit, from which its name derives, and the song contains fast trills and twitters.[2] Twites can form large flocks outside the breeding season, sometimes mixed with other finches on coasts and salt marshes. They feed mainly on seeds.

The twite breeds in northern Europe and across central Asia. Treeless moorland is favoured for breeding. It builds its nest in a bush, laying 5–6 light blue eggs.[3] It is partially resident, but many birds migrate further south, or move to the coasts.[4] It has declined sharply in parts of its range, notably Ireland.[5]

The phylogeny has been described by Antonio Arnaiz-Villena et al.[6][7]

In the UK, the Twite is subject to several research projects in the Pennines, the Scottish Highlands and the North wales and Lancashire coast lines. Records show that the birds to the east of the Pennine hills move to the southeast coast in winter and those to the west winter between Lancashire and the Hebrides. The Welsh population winters almost exclusively in Flintshire.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Carduelis flavirostris". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Clement, Harris & Davis 1993, pp. 246–247
  3. ^ Perrins 1987, p. 196
  4. ^ Newton 1973
  5. ^ BirdWatch.Ireland. "Irish Twite danger". BirdLife Europe. BirdLife International. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  6. ^ 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" (PDF). Cell. Mol. Life. Sci. 54 (9): 1031–41. doi:10.1007/s000180050230. PMID 9791543. 
  7. ^ Zamora, J.; Moscoso, J.; Ruiz-del-Valle, V.; Ernesto, L.; Serrano-Vela, J. I.; Ira-Cachafeiro, J.; Arnaiz-Villena, A. (2006). "Conjoint mitochondrial phylogenetic trees for canaries Serinus spp. and goldfinches Carduelis spp. show several specific polytomies" (PDF). Ardeola 53: 1–17. 

Works cited[edit]

External links[edit]