Birds of the World

Fringillidae : Finches

European Greenfinch

Carduelis chloris

Adult male fighting a male House Sparrow - Trebon, Czech Republic - April 2008

The European Greenfinch is common throughout most of Europe and is a frequent visitor to suburban bird tables.

Adult male being threatened by a male Hawfinch - Trebon, Czech Republic - April 2008

Adult male - Bratsigovo, Bulgaria - June 2007

Adult male - Bratsigovo, Bulgaria - June 2007

They are a semi-colonial breeding species and the majority of Greenfinches in Britain are sedentary.  Some, however, move significant distances from their home range, especially in winter, and ringing recoveries have been recorded as far away as Sweden. Conversely, many of the Greenfinches present in Britain during the winter are birds of Norwegian origin who have migrated across the North Sea to escape the harsh Scandinavian weather.

Adult male - Lincolnshire, England - February 2016

Adult female - Lincolnshire, England - February 2016

Adult male - Catalonia, Spain - April 2016

Adult male - Highland, Scotland - June 2003

Adult male - Highland, Scotland - June 2003

Immature - Highland, Scotland - June 2003

Immature - Highland, Scotland - June 2003

Immature - Highland, Scotland - June 2003

This species gave me a big surprise early one morning in May 2002 when I found an adult male drinking from a roadside puddle at Bombay Hook on the Delaware coast of the USA! Unfortunately, it is probably unlikely that it was a true vagrant, which is a shame because it would have been the first record of Greenfinch in the US! A more likely explaination of its origin is that it could have been transported, inadvertantly, in one of the huge cargo planes that frequently land at the Dover US Air Force base just 10 miles down the coast.