The Second Ladybird Book of British Birds #4 – The Greenfinch

Here’s the page on The Greenfinch from The Ladybird book of British Birds and their Nests from 1955 from my continuing Ladybird book series:

The Second Ladybird Book of British Birds - Greenfinch

The Greenfinch likes gardens and the outskirts of woods

It certainly does. It’s forty years since I was so thrilled to see them in my childhood back garden that I drew a Greenfinch in my 1970s nature notebooks:

Greenfinch - The Hall of Einar - (c) David Bailey (not the)

I was twelve years old. Here’s the full story:

Greenfinch – forty years ago in my nature notebooks

I also tried sketching them properly in pencil crayon. I think this may have been from a poorly stuffed specimen mounted on a twig at my local interest centre. That’s my excuse anyway:

Greenfinch - The Hall of Einar - (c) David Bailey (not the)

When in flight the wings and tail look yellow, and you generally see several birds together.

Their social behaviour and flocking means they can make a spectacular display when arriving in gardens. Humans have changed their behaviour significantly by feeding them. Previously Greenfinches would have roamed far and wide in search of dispersed food sources. Now, many get a large amount of their food from garden bird feeders. This means they pass on diseases and parasites to each other far more frequently. Since 2006 their numbers have been reduced by a protozoan disease called Trichomonosis. How do they catch it? From dirty bird feeders.

Greenfinches eat seeds, berries and the buds of fruit trees, and are also very fond of corn and blackberries.

Sixty years later they seem to mainly eat peanuts from dirty bird feeders.

The BTO, the British Trust for Ornithology says:

“Follow sensible hygiene precautions as a routine measure when feeding garden birds and handling bird feeders and tables. Clean and disinfect feeders and feeding sites regularly. Suitable disinfectants that can be used include a weak solution of domestic bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite) or other specially-designed commercial products. Always rinse feeders thoroughly and air-dry before re-use.”

I’m still waiting to get a photograph of them I’m pleased with:

Greenfinch – forty years ago in my nature notebooks

I’ve got to go now; I’m just going to clean my garden bird feeder.

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