Bird feeder visitors - Greenfinch

Image from webcam captured by Biker, LK forum
Photos Arne Ader
Translation Liis
All regular camera viewers know the greenfinch who tries to scare away all smaller birds and at the same time to eat. But it must retreat when larger birds arrive such as a jay, woodpecker, crow, jackdaw or pigeon.
 
Greenfinch         Rohevint        Carduelis chloris  
 
In the morning the greenfinches arrive at the birdfeeder to hang out there. They feast on sunflower seeds on the spot, turning them in the beak to free the kernel from the shells. The strong beak of the greenfinch is as if made just for this. We never see greenfinches on the fat balls or piece of lard.
 
In a larger group of small birds their behaviour is somewhat quarrelsome but they usually treat their own females  courteously – the ladies have priority, even in the bird feeder queue. When larger birds arrive, or a loud-voiced gang of tree sparrows, the pushiness of the greenfinches subsides: they wait meekly in a shrub for their turn,  then quickly snatch a seed. Tits behave similarly when greenfinches domnate.
 
Greenfinch
 
A bright yellow wing band catches attention first on seeing a greenfinch. The plumage of the females seems duller, with brown streaks and the wing streak,  the species characteristic, is narrower. The plumage of males seems brighter and a little “parroty”. The eye iris is dark brown, the broad beak a little darker at the tip and on it we can notice pink as well as yellow tints. The legs of greenfinches are pink.
 
The tail of the greenfinch should also be noted – the edges of the tails of males have bright yellow bands, but on females and last year’s young birds the bands are barely visible. The characteristics can be compared in Arne’s photos.
 
They are not smaller than tree sparrows, rather a little larger: length 15 centimetres, weight around 30 grams.
 
Greenfinch
 
In winter they move around in groups; if the group is large they behave rather insolently towards other birds at the birdfeeder as well as on the ground. The winter number is estimated at a couple of hundred thousand birds.
 
See observations of greenfinches: LINK
 
 


 

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