Greenfinch Galore

I absolutely love Greenfinches. Although they are common birds I don’t see many around where I live, and have never seen them in my garden. Mostly my garden birds consist of House sparrows and Starlings with the occasional Goldfinch. Not that this is a disappointment by any means, a lot of people say they are lucky if they get 1 sparrow in the garden! I wake up to them chirping away every morning, which is always a delight.

But it’s always nice to encounter different species and I get excited if I see a Greenfinch let alone get to handle one, which is exactly what I got to do last Sunday whilst bird ringing at Bedfont Lakes (south side)! We caught 2 males and 2 females, one of which I had the pleasure of ringing.

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Male Greenfinch

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Female Greenfinch

It was great to compare the two sexes of this species. Generally the difference between them isn’t too tricky, the male being noticeably brighter than the female. As always, however, there can be variation so when handling this species it’s always best to look at other details for confirmation. One of these details can be seen by looking at the wing feathers – in females the yellow on the edge of the primary feathers stops before it meets the shaft.

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Female Greenfinch primary feathers – the yellow stops before the shaft

Whereas in the male primary feathers the yellow extends to meet the shaft.

Male Greenfinch primary feathers - the yellow extends up to the shaft

Male Greenfinch primary feathers – the yellow extends up to the shaft

This creates a brighter yellow edge to the males wings when they are closed, which is usually quite noticeable when observing them (if you are luckier than me!) in your garden πŸ™‚

Ageing these guys…… Well that’s a whole different kettle of fish! I’m getting there, I’m learning fast and I am loving every minute πŸ™‚

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