European Greenfinch Bird

European Greenfinch

European Greenfinch, also called greenfinch, is a small bird of the finch species, having resemblance to a house sparrow in terms of size. Having a characteristic thick, conical pinkish bill, the greenfinch can easily crack hard seed shells. These birds are known to target ripening seeds of crops, particularly radish, rapeseed, linseed, and cereal crops. These popular songbirds are trapped, domesticated, and bred in Malta.

European Greenfinch
European Greenfinch

European Greenfinch Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Fringillidae
Genus Chloris
Scientific Name Chloris chloris

European Greenfinch Quick Information

Other Names Greenie, Green Linnet
Size 14-16 cm (5.5-6.3 inches) in length
Weight 25-28 g (0.8-0.98 oz)
Wingspan 24.5-27.5 cm
Color Green plumage in males with yellow in their tail and wings; duller plumage in females and juvenile birds with brown tones on their back
Distribution South West Asia, north Africa, and throughout Europe; introduced into New Zealand and Australia
Habitat Woodland edges as well as man-modified habitats like gardens, suburban parks, orchards, pine plantations, scrub, and farmland
Song A combination of trilling twitters and wheezes with the males uttering a “dzweee” call during the breeding period
Clutch 3-6 Eggs
Brooding time After 13-14 days from incubation
Fledging 16-18 days of age
Lifespan 10 years (maximum)
Diet Feed on berries, seeds, plant matter, and occasionally on insects
IUCN Conservation Status Least Concern


Color mutations like Isabel, Cinnamon, Pastel, Agate and Lutino are now established in greenfinches.

Pet Care

Since European greenfinches are easy to look after, they can be kept by inexperienced bird owners. However, they need greater care during their breeding season.

European Greenfinch Pictures
European Greenfinch Pictures
European Greenfinch Bird
European Greenfinch Bird

Cage Setup

Just like canaries, these finches are usually kept in individual breeding enclosures or cages, but they prefer to live in large flights and planted aviaries, especially during mating season. To provide them with perching spots, evergreen plants with branches can be positioned inside their cages.


A canary nest or nesting pan can be placed in a sheltered spot high up inside the cage with a covering of artificial plants to provide the birds with the privacy they need while breeding. Soft nesting materials like feathers and dried moss can be placed inside the enclosure to help the hens build their nests that act as the ideal place for incubating the eggs.

European Greenfinch Nest
European Greenfinch Nest


Since these birds are native to European countries, they are resistant to cold climates. However, adequate shelter should be provided to protect them from extreme conditions.


Since greenfinches live cheerfully with other birds, they are usually kept in individual pairs or with birds of other species having similar size. They imitate their behavior in the wild where they flock with other buntings and finches.


Greenfinches like feeding on seed mixes along with egg food, chickweed, and dandelion. They also enjoy green food, canary grass seeds, and seeds of Sunflower, Safflower, and Thistle. They can be occasionally provided with fruit fly larva, waxworms, and ant eggs along with soft food.

European Greenfinch Eggs
European Greenfinch Eggs
European Greenfinch Chicks
European Greenfinch Chicks


A European greenfinch loves to bathe in clean, fresh water contained in dishes positioned inside the enclosure. Regular bathing in water helps to keep them clean and healthy.

Health Problems

Young greenfinches are often infected by a parasite known as “Atoxoplasma”, affecting the birds’ gut lining that prevents them from eating or drinking properly. To prevent the disease from spreading, add 6 drops of sulpha drugs into their drinker for five days. The young birds may occasionally show signs of “going light” with puffed up appearance and reduced weight due to persistent illness.

European Greenfinch Images
European Greenfinch Images
European Greenfinch Photos
European Greenfinch Photos

Interesting Facts

  • The greenies can be hybridized with canaries to produce infertile chicks that are commonly referred to as mules.
  • In spring, the male birds perform a dancing display flight, resembling butterflies to flaunt their yellow feathers among the olive-green coloration.


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