This small olive greenfinch is one of our most colourful garden visitors here in the UK. We take a closer look at some of its well-known feeding habits and behaviours, to help us better understand how to look after these small finches.
The greenfinch is fairly common here in the UK, so you may have spotted your fair share not too far from home! They also don’t migrate, so you’ll be able to capture a glimpse all year round. Find out more about the greenfinch below.
What does a greenfinch look like?
Like many common birds, the males and females have a different plumage to distinguish them from each other. The male greenfinch sports much brighter feathers, in the striking olive green colour with a vibrant stripe on the tips of its wings.
The female greenfinch has a much duller plumage, having a more muted brown/green colour, but with the same vibrant stripe on the wings.
Both sexes have the typical short, rounded finch beak that allows them to perfectly feed on seeds and nuts.
What does a greenfinch call sound like?
The greenfinch song is a melodic chirp that sounds in short bursts. It can be hard to distinguish from other finch songs, but it is generally a faster, sing-song sound compared to others. It can be very pleasant to listen to and can stand out when mixed with other birdsongs.
Behaviours of a greenfinch
Greenfinches can take over bird feeders throughout gardens due to their appetite for mixed seeds and nuts. They will often be seen in small groups or in twos, however, they have seen a drop in numbers over the last few years, so making sure you document a greenfinch sighting is becoming increasingly important.
Where and when can I see a greenfinch?
Greenfinches are not uncommon and as mentioned above, love to visit bird feeders filled with nutritious seeds and nuts!
They can most often be seen along hedgerows and in gardens with lots of shrubs and bushes, as this is where they prefer to make their nests. If you like to spot the birds visiting your garden or local nature reserve, you are sure to catch a glimpse of one or two.
Remember, if you see a greenfinch, make sure to log it on our Birdspotter app! This helps us keep on top of the population of all of the UK’s most beloved birds and allows bird spotters nationwide to find the best bird watching spots!
What does a greenfinch eat?
Like most finches, the greenfinch loves to eat Niger seeds and other mixed seeds with a high nutrition factor. Throughout the seasons they will eat a mix of nuts and seeds, however, during the cold winter months, they can often be found snacking on small bugs and even shoots from trees and bushes.
If you are looking for the perfect food for greenfinches, here is our best wild bird food to attract greenfinches to your feeders all year round.