Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018


Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..


Scientific name:

 Carduelis chloris



Conservation status

 Introduced and naturalised

Mainland status:

 Widespread and locally common


 15cm; 28g


 7.5+ years possibly


 October – March


 Seeds, fruit buds and invertebrates

Although less than 100 greenfinch were introduced from Europe between 1862 and 1868 they are now common throughout New Zealand in farmland shelterbelts, the edges of pine plantations and native bush and scrub fringes, orchards and gardens. In autumn and winter they form large flocks, often with other finches. 

This olive green finch has a pale heavy bill and prominent yellow on the sides of the tail and the edges of the wing. The males are a brighter olive green and their yellow markings on wing and tail are conspicuous. The females are a browner, dull olive green and their yellow markings are less conspicuous. The plumage of both sexes tends to get brighter with age. In the breeding season the male’s call is a repeated harsh drawn out 'dweez' (like a long tailed cuckoo call). Other common calls are a pleasant twittering 'chichichichichit-teu, teu, teu, teu' and a rising 'tsooeet'. 

Greenfinches feed mainly on seeds (maize, cereals, oilseed rape, brassicas, linseed, sunflowers, peas, hops, redroot, chickweed, storksbill, thistles and pine) supplemented with fruit buds and a few invertebrates. 

Breeding is between October and March and two clutches a year are laid. A largish, untidy nest of twigs, grasses, moss, rootlets and wool lined with finer material and wool is built in a fork towards the top of a small shrub, tree or gorse bush or in the top of a spreading branch of a large conifer or oak. A clutch of 3-6 pale blue to light grey eggs with scattered brown spots and blotches is incubated by the female for 11-15 days. She is fed on the nest by the male.  Both parents feed the young by regurgitation during the fledgling period of 13-17 days.

Greenfinches are regularly seen and heard on Tiritiri Matangi Island.

Learn more about greenfinches at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photographs, adult male (right) and juvenile male (left) by: Kay Milton ©

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking. Moon, G The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Birds.