Friday, 16 November 2012

European greenfinch

Carduelis chloris

Photo by J. Romãozinho (Pescador de Aves)

Common name:
European greenfinch (en); verdilhão (pt); verdier d'Europe (fr); verderón común (es); grünfink (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Fringillidae

Range:
This species is found throughout most of Europe, with the exception of northern Scandinavia, northern Russia and Iceland. They are also found in north-west Africa, from Morocco to Tunisia, and in near Asia, from Turkey, Israel and Jordan, through northern Iran and into southern Kazakhstan. Some of the more northern populations migrate south to winter around the Mediterranean Sea. The European greenfinch was also introduced to south-eastern Australia and New Zealand.

Size:
These birds are 14-16 cm long and have a wingspan of 25-28 cm. They weigh 25-30 g.

Habitat:
The European greenfinch is found in open woodlands, temperate and boreal forests, scrublands, pastures, arable land, plantations and in parks and gardens within urban areas.

Diet:
They mainly feed on seeds, using their powerful bill to break them open, but also take buds, berries, and even some insects during the breeding season.

Breeding:
The European greenfinch breeds in April-August. They are territorial, solitary nesters, but sometimes form loose colonies. The nest is a bulky cup made of dried grasses and moss, and lined with plant fibres, rootlets, fur, feathers and wool.It is placed in a fork in a tree, not very far from the ground. There the female lays 4-6 glossy pale blue or creamy white eggs with reddish markings. The eggs are incubated by female for 13-15 days, while the male provides her with food. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 16-18 days after hatching. Each pair  raises 2-3 broods per year.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 44,7-128 million individuals. In Europe, the populations has undergone a moderate decline since 1980, but the species is not threatened at present.

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