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The Greenfinch and the Best Finch Seeds

The greenfinch is also known as the green linet and is a large and quite stocky finch with a forked tail. Greenfinches are similar in size to great tits. They are popular visitors to British gardens and boast beautiful green plumage.


The male greenfinch is brighter in summer than in winter. During the summer months male greenfinches are mostly olive-green in colour except for the yellow edges to their outer primary wing feathers and tail feathers. Their rumps are a little more yellow. The cheeks and undertail are grey. The female greenfinch is not green! She is grey-brown and has underparts tinged with yellow. She has less yellow on the wings than the male. Both sexes have flesh coloured bills and legs.

Young greenfinches are similar in appearance to the female but with darker streaks. They can easily be mistaken for house sparrows.


Greenfinches have a wheezy song. You can listen to samples online if you wish to familiarise yourself with the sound.

Feeding and Finch Seeds

These birds have a natural diet of seeds, buds and berries. They are happy to visit bird tables and increasingly willing to hang from bird feeders in gardens. They will hang from feeders for considerable periods of time. The best choice of finch seeds are black sunflower seeds but these birds will also eat peanuts. If your feeder contains mixed seed then you may find that the greenfinches discard all of the contents other than the black sunflower seeds. This can create quite a mess unless other birds eat the seeds on the ground.
Greenfinches are often to be seen squabbling amongst themselves and with other birds at bird tables and bird feeders.


Greenfinches tend to nest in colonies and build their nests in shrubs. The nest is constructed from twigs and grass and then lined with roots and hair. The nest is built by the female who will then lay between three and eight eggs. The eggs are smooth and pale beige in colour with black markings. The female incubates the eggs but the young are fed by both parents. The youngsters fledge after thirteen to sixteen days.


There are approximately 1.7 million breeding pairs of greenfinches in Britain. The species has declined in agricultural areas due to farming methods which result in no stubbles during the winter.

The population declined dramatically in the 1970s and 1980s but then increased in the 1990s. The greenfinch has adapted well to using gardens but a Medium BTO Alert exists because there have been an increasing number of nest failures. A recent decline in numbers has been attributed to an outbreak of trichomonosis. This is a disease carried by parasites which prevents birds from feeding adequately. The greenfinch is found throughout Britain except for in northern Scotland.

Greenfinches are colourful characters which are a pleasing sight in any garden. The provision of black sunflower seeds is sure to attract greenfinches to your garden. At Little Peckers we have the highest quality black sunflower seeds for you and at the lowest prices.


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