This is a big green finch with yellow in the wings (more in males than in females) that has invaded the gardens of Europe over the last century. They may be present in very large numbers and form quite mobile populations without being a full scale migrant.
The young birds have the yellow flash in the wing but they may, especially females, be very dull and sparrow-like otherwise. These birds have big, conical bills and can process large seeds efficiently. They are particularly fond of sunflower seeds. The song is rather dull - a 'dreeeeze' which sounds rather nasal. Populations in Britain and Ireland are holding up well and there are about 700,000 territories (some males are polygynous).
Widespread genus of finches - 25 or so species worldwide
The following Bird On! picture is available:
Greenfinch (Watercolour by Robert Gillmor)
Length 150 mm Closed wing 87 mm Weight 28 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead