Bird song (13) – Greenfinch

Greenfinch. Photo: Tim Melling

I agree with regular commenter here, murray marr, that Greenfinches seem more numerous and obvious songsters this year than usual. But, there isn’t a lot to the song of the Greenfinch really;

But I’m glad to hear them and see them more often – I find I’ve missed them. Greenfinches rather live under the shadow of their flashier relatives the Chaffinch and Goldfinch – there aren’t many poems about Greenfinches.

I rather like Greenfinches.


4 Replies to “Bird song (13) – Greenfinch”

  1. I’ve always wondered about Greenfinches. The typical wheeze that we all know strikes me as being mainly an “I’m here” message” whereas the rather impressive display flight and song which we see less often is I think more of a “look at me I’m rather fanciable”. The first directed more at other males and the second at females.

  2. I was mentally locked down yesterday going through old papers. Found a 1971 nature diary – it was pretty awful to skim through, even though most of the more personal stuff had been heavily redacted about 20 years ago. It’s now waiting for the recycling bin. Relief.
    Woke up early this morning having dreamt about a literary masterpiece that was about to be lost to the nation. And then, creaking on the edge of the bed, I remembered that this diary had contained scatterings of notes on the seasonality of songs of common birds throughout the year. So wow great, what a nice job for a sunny day – sift through all that ripped up paper and retrieve anything that might be of interest. Not that there’ll be much to collate, just the odd snippet of information here and there – all highly parochial stuff but nevertheless not to be thrown away – time has on occasion an ability to gild the dullest of records. And now there’s so much unwanted extra time for thousands of people across the country to force themselves to do that depressing job of clearing out dusty shelves and cupboards over the next few months. Pause a moment before binning that old notebook that might contain nature notes …
    Yes, according to this daily song chart/calendar (started in 1998 – thank goodness it’s not a diary) Greenfinches here, compared to the last two or three years, are singing extraordinarily well. Their song is at about eight times the amount of Chaffinch song which is almost absent to date. But Chaffinches are still about and calling – perhaps the very wet January and February has made their song so late. Or perhaps there aren’t so many of them about? Time will tell.

  3. I can concur with the comments above, I’ve both heard and seen more greenfinches this Spring than many a long year. Like you, Mark, I’ve missed them. To hear them is a but of joy in the gloom.

  4. I raised two greenfinches form pink sacs with no feathers to adults when I was 12. Had to feed them every 20 minutes on half egg yolk half milk and wholemeal breadcrumbs. The male flew off but the female stayed, she was free to go, and lived in a cage with an open door. She rode on our shoulders and would fly to the trees but always back again – to call, if you called her. She lived for 13 years. She did the trill song above a lot, but never the more shrill wheezy bit. She called it when my mum and dad drew up outside in their car – or when we broke little pieces of polo mint for her to eat, or when i brought her the juicy white end shoots of grass to nibble – we recognised it as a sort of joyous call, and also a call to say hello.

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