This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
The Greenfinch (Ligurinus or Coccothraustes chloris) belongs to the sub-family Fringillinae, and frequents gardens, shrubberies, hedges, plantations and fields. The general colour of the male on the upper parts is olive green, the primaries greyish-black, with bright yellow edges for two-thirds of their length, under-parts yellow. The female is of a hair-brown colour above, pale brown below. The male, which is a little larger than the female, is about 6 in. in length. Its song is not melodious. It breeds from about the end of April on to June, and builds its nest in hedges, bushes and low trees. The nest is mainly composed of green moss and coarse fibrous roots, and is lined with finer roots, horse-hair and feathers. The eggs are four to six in number, bluish-white, spotted at the larger end with purplish-grey and dark brown. The greenfinches are gregarious in habits, except in the breeding season, and feed upon grain, chiefly in stubbles, and seeds, such as charlock, dandelion, groundsel, chickweed, plantain, etc., and insects. The greenfinches are sometimes destructive to seedling Brassicas and other Cruciferae, also Compositae by plucking them up while in seed-leaf, and usually commit their depredations early in the morning.
Though sometimes charged with destroying blossom-buds of fruit trees and bushes, this propensity has not come under our observation as regards greenfinches.