Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

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

2018 Photo Comp opens for entries

Date posted: 27-Nov-2017

The 2018 Photo Competition is now open for entries. Click here (/2018-photo-competition-tiritiri-mat..

New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..

2017 Photo Competition

Date posted: 22-Mar-2017

It is that time of year again when we are looking for entries for our photo competition (and phot..

The 2017 concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2017

This year's concert promises to be another wonderful and unique experience. Click here (/concert-..

Shorebird Film Festival at Devonport

Date posted: 26-Oct-2016

Click here (/miscellaneous documents/DevWaderFilms.jpg) for details of a forthcoming film festival c..


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.