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24

European Greenfinch

(Chloris chloris)
Alternate name(s): "Greenfinch"
German name(s): "Grünfink", "Grünling"

Size: 14-16 cm; wing span 24.5-27.5 cm
Weight: 20-31 g
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See European Greenfinch at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "chloris"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Skjervoy, near Tromso, Norway, June 2018]

Frontal view of a male European Greenfinch with ruffled feathers (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Brok, river Bug, Masovia, Poland, June 2016]

Near-frontal view of a male European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, February 2018]

Near-frontal view of a male European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Skjervoy, near Tromso, Norway, June 2018]

Near-frontal view of a preening male European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Brok, river Bug, Masovia, Poland, June 2016]

Lateral view of a male European Greenfinch visiting a bird feeder (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, February 2018]

Lateral view of a male European Greenfinch visiting a bird feeder (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, February 2018]

Pair of European Greenfinches in bright sunshine; male in front, female at the back (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Brok, river Bug, Masovia, Poland, June 2016]

Pair of European Greenfinches in bright sunshine; male right, female left (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Brok, river Bug, Masovia, Poland, June 2016]

Pair of European Greenfinches in bright sunshine; male right, female left (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Brok, river Bug, Masovia, Poland, June 2016]

Pair of European Greenfinches in overcast conditions; male right, female left (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Brok, river Bug, Masovia, Poland, June 2016]

FEMALE

Near-lateral view of a female European Greenfinch feeding in melting snow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, January 2017]

Lateral view of a female European Greenfinch feeding on snow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, January 2017]

Lateral view of a female European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Brok, river Bug, Masovia, Poland, June 2016]

Near-dorsal view of a female European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Brok, river Bug, Masovia, Poland, June 2016]

Dorsal view of a female European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, January 2017]

Race "vanmarli"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, April2014]

Lateral view of a male European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, October 2018]

Lateral view of a male European Greenfinch feeding on the ground (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, February 2018]

Lateral view of a moulting(?) male European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, August 2014]

Near-dorsal view of a preening male European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, March 2014]

Flock of European Greenfinches (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, August 2014]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female European Greenfinch feeding on the ground (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, November 2015]

Lateral view of a female European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, March 2014]

Lateral view of a female European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Coruche, Santarem, Portugal, January 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a female European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, February 2017]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of a juvenile European Greenfinch; note the striation down the front (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, December 2017]

Female, right, feeding a dependent juvenile European Greenfinch (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2014]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Mar - July Eggs: 3 - 6 Incubation period: 13 - 14 days Fledging age: 16 - 18 days

The length and duration of the breeding season depends a lot on geographical latitude and climatic conditions. The period listed in the table above applies to central Europe. Also incubation and fledging times depend on external circumstances. In the southern parts of their range, European Greenfinches can have 2-3 broods per season.

Chicks leave the nest at about 13 days of age, but are not able to fly yet.

Nest building: Female Incubation: Female Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

Type: Basket Material: Twigs, grass, feathers, plant down Height above ground: 1 - 3(?) m

View into an European Greenfinch nest in a dense shrub (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2019]

Eggs

Size: 21 x 14 mm Colour: Pale-blue, with reddish-brown speckles Shape: Elliptical

Closer look at the eggs in the European Greenfinch nest shown above (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2019]

Behaviour

European Greenfinches are quite shy and can be relatively hard to approach.

Food, Diet

Like all finches known to us, European Greenfinches are primarily seed-eaters.

Note that cardueline finches (i.e. European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch, Eurasian Siskin and their close relatives) feed their young primarily regurgitated seeds, while fringilline finches (all others) feed their young primarily invertebrates.

Male European Greenfinch in the land of seeds aplenty (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Brok, river Bug, Masovia, Poland, June 2016]

Lateral view of a female European Greenfinch feeding on the seeds of a thistle (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, December 2017]

Lateral view of a female European Greenfinch feeding on the seeds of a thistle (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, December 2017]

Lateral view of a female European Greenfinch taking seeds (sunflower kernels) from a bird feeder
(photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, January 2016]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

grfinch_dw_20160613_1.m4a chloris
(Poland)
Contact call? © DW
grfinch_dw_20190323.m4a chloris
(Poland)
Pair Q&A © DW
grfinch_dw_20160613.m4a chloris
(Poland)
Pair Q&A © DW
grfinch_dw_20180414.m4a chloris
(Poland)
Territorial calls? (male) © DW
grfinch_dw_20160613_2.m4a chloris
(Poland)
Various (pair) © DW
grfinch_dw_20180414_2.m4a chloris
(Poland)
Various (female) © DW

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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