European Greenfinch Carduelis chloris (Linnaeus, 1758)

Order: Passeriformes Family: Fringillidae Status: Breeding in Madeira


Chloris chloris

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European Greenfinch Field ID Keys

Shape & Size

Rather large and stocky finch with a heavy conical bill.

european greenfinch carduelis chloris

Colour Pattern

The overall colouring of the Greenfinch is greenish yellow and the bird has a stout, pale bill. The sexes are markedly different, with the male being greener than the female which is more brownish coloured. The tail is black with yellow edges, the chest and undersides are yellowish and legs are light pink. Greenfinches have a dark eye mask and, when in flight, clearly display yellow wing stripes.


In Madeira it does not often forms flocks with Atlantic Canary or European Goldfinch. Likes to perch on top of coniferous trees and call.
Its flight is undulating with bursts of quick wingbeats between close-winged swoops

european greenfinch carduelis chloris


This species is generally found in coniferous forests, woodland edges, gardens and some cultivated areas.
In the Madeira archipelago, Greenfinch is only found in the island of Madeira and its population is very localised.

Distinction from similar species

Greenfinch can sometimes be misidentified as a Siskin as they both have yellow stripes on their wings though the first is much larger and does not have streaked underparts.

Carduelis chloris Biometrics

Wingspan: 25 - 27 cm (Hume, 2002)
Total length: 14 - 16 cm (Svensson et al, 2009)
Weight: 25 - 32 g (Hume, 2002)

Other Bird Facts

Seasonality in Madeira: All year
Breeding: The cup-shaped nest is built in thick bushes or trees and it holds 4 to 6 eggs in 2 or 3 broods from April to July.
Diet: Eats seeds and berries, both from trees and from the ground.


Madeira local status by Correia-Fagundes et al, 2021: Rare breeding bird
Madeira local status by Romano et al, 2010: Rare breeding bird
Madeira local status by Zino et al, 1995: Very rare breeding bird
Conservation status by the IUCN Red List Categories, 2013: Least Concern ver 3.1

Name of this species in other languages

Portuguese: Verdilhão, Verdelhão
German: Grünfink
Dutch: Groenling
Swedish: Grönfink
Danish: Grønirisk
Finish: Viherpeippo
Norwegian: Grønnfink
Spanish: Verderón Común
French: Verdier d'Europe
Italian: Verdone eurasiatico
Polish: Dzwoniec
Slovak: Zelienka obyčajná
Czech: Zvonek zelený
English synonyms: Common Greenfinch

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