Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)


[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Fringillidae | [latin] Carduelis chloris | [UK] Greenfinch | [FR] Verdier commun | [DE] Grunling | [ES] Verderon Comun | [NL] Groenling


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range

Physical charateristics

Medium-sized, robust, plump and noticeably short-tailed finch, with stout conical bill.
Male olive-green and yellow, looking bright only in sunlight. Female dull olive-brown and yellowish-buff, faintly streaked on back. Juvenile dirty buff-brown and pale buff, fully but not sharply streaked.
All show striking yellow patches on primaries and side of tail, shining on Male, duller on female, and duller on juvenile.
Large bill pale flesh. Voice distinctive. Sexes dissimilar, little seasonal variation.

Listen to the sound of Greenfinch


Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 25 cm wingspan max.: 27 cm
size min.: 14 cm size max.: 16 cm
incubation min.: 11 days incubation max.: 15 days
fledging min.: 14 days fledging max.: 15 days
broods: 2   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 6  


Eurasia : West, Southwest, Southcentral


Breeds almost throughout Europe, to south of Arctic Circle or July isotherm of 14’C in boreal, temperate, Mediterranean, and steppe zones, extending also to North Africa and W Africa.
Attached to tall densely leafed trees and to diet of seeds accessible under appropriate trees, on bushes, or on crop, weed, and other plants in fields. Has expanded from natural woodland edge, scrub, stream banks, and groups of trees on grassland to tall hedgerows, lines of planted trees, orchards, conifer plantations, parks, large gardens, and other situations where tall trees, sunny aspects, and ready access of seeds, fruits, and insect food are present together in breeding season.


From late April to mid August in Britain, late April to early July in Finland, mid March to late July in Germany, late March to early August in Spain.
Nest site is built against trunk or in strong fork of dense bush, small tree, or creeper. Conifers or other evergreens slightly preferred, especially early in season.
Nest is a stout, robust sturcture with foundation of dry twigs, grass, moss, and lichen lined with fine grasses, rootlets, plant down, hair, feathers, or man-made material.
4-6 eggs are laid with an incubation period of 11-15 days, done by female only.

Feeding habits

Fairly large seeds, mainly of Carduelinae, Polygonaceae, Rosaceae, Compositae, and cereals, also of many trees and shrubs. A few invertebrates taken in breeding season and also fed to young.
Eats a wider range of seeds than probably any other Carduelinae in west Palearctic.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Carduelis chloris is a widespread breeder across most of Europe, which constitutes
>75% of its global range. Its European breeding population is extremely large
(>14,000,000 pairs), and was stable between 1970-1990. Although there were declines
in a few countries?most notably France?during 1990-2000, key populations in
Germany and Russia were stable, and trends were stable or increasing across most of
the rest of Europe. The species hence remained stable overall, and consequently is
evaluated as Secure.
Greenfinch status Least Concern


Mainly resident and dispersive. This species can form large flocks outside the breeding season, sometimes mixing with other finches and buntings. Northern birds move during fall and winter further South to more moderate climates.

Distribution map

Greenfinch distribution range map

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