Chloris chloris

Cagarneres en la lloma, verderols en el paller, les perdius en l’estepar, teuladins en el carrer.

The European greenfinch (Chloris chloris) is a small songbird, from the order of passerines and from the family Fringillidae (like the finch). It is a common species in the Iberian Peninsula.

It measures 13 to 15 cm long. Its plumage is a striking yellowish-green color, more intense during the breeding season, with yellow sides of the tail and rump. In flight, it sports a conspicuous yellow wing stripe, its movement being wavy.

The female has a duller, grayer coloration. Both have pink legs and a robust clear conical beak that they use to open the seeds of cereals and trees (walnut, elm, linden, ash, pine…), bramble and rosehip among others that serve as food, and that in the warmer months it complements the consumption of insects, among which are aphids, ants, beetles and also spiders. In autumn she visits the vineyards and fruit orchards to eat ripe fruit. She withstands the rigors of winter well and knows how to find her food even when the snow cover is thick.

In those areas of scarce and not very dense vegetation it is confined to the pine forests, which perhaps constitute its original habitat. In all other places it is found around houses, gardens and farms, remaining absent from the most remote parts of the countryside. In late summer, they congregate in large flocks, prowling the plowed fields and silos in search of fallen grain and seeds of wild plants, especially those that thrive on cultivated land.

When the month of March arrives, the male alternates his inspired whistle with an upward flight from the branch on which he perches and a kind of suspension in the air by means of slow flapping wings, in the manner of butterflies or bats, without ceasing to chirp. . This action forms the main part of his gallant display.

It breeds in groves and dense bushes in inhabited areas, parks, gardens, orchards, fruit trees, and in cypress trees in cemeteries and all the groves and rows of trees in rural areas. Tends to nest in groups. As a general rule, the nest is usually built in a green hedge or bush with fine rootlets, moss and wool; It is covered with roots, hair, feathers. The eggs, 4 to 6, are laid in May; Its color varies between dirty white and greenish blue with brown, reddish or violet spots, and its dimensions are 19 by 12 mm. Only the female takes care of the incubation, which lasts two weeks; Meanwhile, she is fed by the male who remains motionless from a nearby perch. Then both, once the young are born, feed them for 13-16 days by regurgitant insects and crushed seeds. When they acquire their first feathers, they remain with their parents, forming a very close-knit family group. They lay two eggs per year, occasionally three.

At the end of the breeding season they gather in large flocks that also include other finches and migrant birds that arrive from the north in autumn and fly aimlessly through forests, fields, steppes and crops.

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