We are lucky to still have Greenfinches regularly visiting our feeders, because their populations have declined dramatically in the ’70’s, increased in the ’80’s and have declined again since, affected by the parasitic-linked Trichomonosis disease, which hampers their ability to feed and can be caught from feeders that aren’t cleaned well enough. Greenfinches, once woodland birds, have become more regular users of garden bird-feeders, especially favouring black sunflower seeds which they can easily crack with their stocky beaks. Sometimes confused with Goldfinches, because they have a yellow flash on their wings, Greenfinches are bulkier and the males are olive-green. I hope the photo’s which include a Goldfinch, and drawing will help you separate male and the paler-coloured female Greenfinch, and Goldfinch. Conditions: Sunny intervals and showers. Temperature: Max 14 Min 5 c
Greenfinches have declined so much since the 1990′s that we have felt lucky to have a family of adults and two young, visiting our feeders, enjoying their favourite black sunflower-seeds. Originally woodland birds, they have now been drawn to gardens, but suffer from the parisitic-induced disease ‘trichomonosis’, which affects their ability to feed- the advice is to make sure your feeders are frequently cleaned. Young have the same yellow edge to their wings and tail as adults but have streaky chests, visible here. Greenfinches will also feast on Rose-hips, Haws, and Yew Berries
Conditions: Cloud and sun, with rain later. Temperature: Max 20- Min 13C.
Greenfinches flock together to feed at this time of year, as we watched at Old Moor RSPB site near Barnsley yesterday, where we went to replenish birdfood stocks. Following a big decline in the 1970’s and 80’s, thought to be due to loss of seeds on farmland, a further decrease is linked to a parasitic disease that affects their ability to feed. So, while garden feeders are very important for these finches, which can manage big and small seeds alike, if you don’t keep feeders well cleaned, you could be adding to the spread of the disease. At Old Moor they were feeding quite aggressively, hence all the comings and goings in the photographs- in flight their beautiful colours stand out. Conditions: A largely sunny, still day. Temperature: Max 14- Min 9c.