Grey-capped greenfinch

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Grey-capped greenfinch
Oriental Greenfinch - Honshu - Japan S4E2635 (23026479292).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Subfamily: Carduelinae
Genus: Chloris
C. sinica
Binomial name
Chloris sinica
(Linnaeus, 1766)
  • Fringilla sinica Linnaeus, 1766
  • Carduelis sinica (Linnaeus, 1766)
Eggs of grey-capped greenfinch MHNT

The grey-capped greenfinch or Oriental greenfinch (Chloris sinica) is a small passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae that breeds in broadleaf and conifer woodlands of East Asia.

The grey-capped greenfinch is a medium-sized finch 12.5 to 14 cm (4.9 to 5.5 in) in length, with a strong bill and a short slightly forked tail. It nests in trees or bushes, laying 3-5 eggs.[2]

In 1760 the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson included a description of the grey-capped greenfinch in his Ornithologie based on a specimen collected in China. He used the French name Le pinçon de la Chine and the Latin Fringilla sinencis.[3] Although Brisson coined Latin names, these do not conform to the binomial system and are not recognised by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.[4] When in 1766 the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus updated his Systema Naturae for the twelfth edition, he added 240 species that had been previously described by Brisson.[4] One of these was the grey-capped greenfinch. Linnaeus included a brief description, coined the binomial name Fringilla sinica and cited Brisson's work.[5] The type locality was subsequently restricted to Macau in eastern China.[6] The specific name sinica is Medieval Latin for Chinese.[7]

The greenfinches were later placed in the genus Carduelis but when molecular phylogenetic studies found that they were not closely related to the other species in Carduelis, the greenfinches were moved to the resurrected genus Chloris.[8][9] The genus had been introduced by the French naturalist Georges Cuvier in 1800.[10] The word Chloris is from the Ancient Greek khlōris for a European greenfinch; the specific epithet sinica is Mediaeval Latin for "Chinese".[11]

Five subspecies are now recognised:[9]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Carduelis sinica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Clement, P. (2017). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Oriental Greenfinch (Chloris sinica)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  3. ^ Brisson, Mathurin Jacques (1760). Ornithologie, ou, Méthode contenant la division des oiseaux en ordres, sections, genres, especes & leurs variétés (in French and Latin). Volume 3. Paris: Jean-Baptiste Bauche. pp. 175–177, Plate 7 fig 2. The two stars (**) at the start of the section indicates that Brisson based his description on the examination of a specimen.
  4. ^ a b Allen, J.A. (1910). "Collation of Brisson's genera of birds with those of Linnaeus". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 28: 317–335.
  5. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1766). Systema naturae : per regna tria natura, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Volume 1, Part 1 (12th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 321.
  6. ^ Paynter, Raymond A. Jr, ed. (1968). Check-list of birds of the world. Volume 14. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 236.
  7. ^ Jobling, J.A. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  8. ^ Zuccon, Dario; Prŷs-Jones, Robert; Rasmussen, Pamela C.; Ericson, Per G.P. (2012). "The phylogenetic relationships and generic limits of finches (Fringillidae)" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 62 (2): 581–596. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.10.002. PMID 22023825.
  9. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Finches, euphonias". World Bird List Version 5.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  10. ^ Cuvier, Georges (1800). Leçons d'anatomie comparée. Volume 1. Paris: Baudouin. Table 2. The year on the title page is An VIII.
  11. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 102, 357. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.

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