Saturday, 14 March 2015

Bird of the week - Greenfinch

Carduellis chloris, chloris from the Greek χλωρός, meaning greenish-yellow.  (Chlorine gets its name from the same root.)  This is a handsome bird and, as with most finches, the female is more subtly coloured.  Rather puzzlingly I am only seeing males in the garden at the moment.  I expect all the females are dining elsewhere.  Several of the birds that visit my garden have been ringed - presumably in the Gosforth Park Nature Reserve.  Or maybe it is just one that keeps returning.

Greenfinches are common in the garden all year round but are more likely to be seen in spring than in autumn, as this BTO Garden BirdWatch graph shows.

Greenfinches have been in decline since the mid 2000s when they began to be seriously affected by trichomonosis, something I have seen only once here. This chart is from BTO Garden BirdWatch.

Longer term evidence from the latest BTO BirdTrends confirms the recent population decline.

To listen to Sir David Attenborough's BBC Tweet of the Day on greenfinches, click here.  To read more about greenfinch on the BTO website click here and on BTO BirdTrends click here.  

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