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Oriental Greenfinch

From Opus

(Redirected from Grey-capped Greenfinch)
Male subspecies C. s. ussuriensisPhoto © by KS Shim Suwon, South Korea, 17 January 2006
Male subspecies C. s. ussuriensis
Photo © by KS Shim
Suwon, South Korea, 17 January 2006

Alternative name: Grey-capped Greenfinch

Chloris sinica

Carduelis sinica


[edit] Identification

Female subspecies C. s. minorPhoto © by Joseph Morlan Shin-Chou Wharf, Aomori Port, Aomori Prefecture, Japan,  6 May 2017
Female subspecies C. s. minor
Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Shin-Chou Wharf, Aomori Port, Aomori Prefecture, Japan, 6 May 2017

12½â€“14 cm. (5-5½ in.)
Medium-sized, dark olive-brown finch, with strong pink bill. Has bright yellow wing and tail patches and a rather short slightly forked tail. Male has head olive-gray with black mask around eye to bill. Body rather uniformly dark olive-brown, slightly paler on belly. Female is duller and juvenile distinctly streaked below.

[edit] Similar Species

European Greenfinch is similar but body color much more yellow-green rather than olive-brown. Ranges do not overlap. Eurasian Siskin has similar plumage on the wings and tail but is much smaller with smaller bill and more heavily streaked.

[edit] Distribution

Asia: Russia, Siberia, Mongolia, China, Tibet, Korea, Japan, Taiwan Southeast Asia: Indochina, Vietnam

[edit] Taxonomy

Photo © by BlogdTama River, Tokyo, Japan, 25 August 2005
Photo © by Blogd
Tama River, Tokyo, Japan, 25 August 2005

Formerly included in the genus Carduelis but more recent studies found greenfinches to be a monophyletic group, genus Chloris which is not sister to other Carduelis species (Sangster et al. 2011).

[edit] Subspecies

There are 6 subspecies[1]:

  • C. s. sinica:
  • Western China (Gansu) to southern Manchuria
  • C. s. chabarowi:
  • C. s. ussuriensis:
  • Eastern Manchuria to southern Ussuriland and Korea
  • C. s. kawarahiba:
  • Kamchatka, Kuril Island, Sakhalin and Hokkaido; winters to Japan
  • C. s. minor:
  • Southern Japan (Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu) and Korea (Cheju-Do Island)
  • C. s. kittlitzi:
  • Southern Japan (Bonin Islands and Volcano Islands)

[edit] Habitat

Cultivated fields, city parks, gardens and wooded areas.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

Nest is a cup constructed out of grasses and moss and lined with finer grasses and softer vegetation. It is usually placed in a tree, but sometimes a bush. The female lays 2 to 5 eggs which she alone incubates.

[edit] Diet

Mostly seeds including weed and shrub seeds, and sunflower seeds, also rice, buckwheat and other grains. They will also feed on insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates, particularly during the summer breeding season.

[edit] Movements

Partly migratory. Populations in the north move south in September–October and winter at lower altitudes.

[edit] Vocalisations

Song consists of a mixture of chattering and coarse notes given from high perch or in slow display-flight. Call is a distinct, nasal djeeeeee.

Listen to Oriental Greenfinch sound clip
Starts with Daurian Redstart, other calls include Chinese Bamboo Partridge, Oriental Greenfinch and a bulbul
Recording by china guy, Sichuan, China, September 2011

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Gill, F & D Donsker (Eds). 2019. IOC World Bird List (v9.1). doi : 10.14344/IOC.ML.9.1. Available at
  3. Avibase
  4. Clement, P. (2017). Oriental Greenfinch (Chloris sinica). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 11 June 2017).
  5. Clement, P., A. Harris, and J. Davis. 1993. Finches and Sparrows: An Identification Guide. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, N. J.
  6. Sangster, G., Collinson, J. M., Crochet, P.-A., Knox, A. G., Parkin, D. T., Svensson, L. and Vottier, S. C. (2011), Taxonomic recommendations for British birds: seventh report. Ibis, 153: 883–892.
  7. Zuccon, D., Prys-Jones, R., Rasmussen, P., Ericson, P.G.P. (2012). The phylogenetic relationships and generic limits of finches (Fringillidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 62 (2): 581–596

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