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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 18, 2021

Citril Finch: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Citril finch facts are about this bird species endemic to the European region and its distribution map shows its presence all over the continent.

The citril finch (Carduelis citrinella) is a species of small-sized songbird and its distribution is exclusively found in Europe. The bird is also known by the name Alpine citril finch. This European species was first considered to be a part of the genus Serinus with the scientific name Serinus citrinella, but it was later found that the citril finch is more related to the European goldfinch (C. carduelis) and the genus was changed to Carduelis from the older Serinus. Carduelis citrinella (Pallas 1764) is a member of the true finch family called Fringillidae and is part of the order Passeriformes. These birds are known for resident breeding in southwestern Europe from Spain to the Alps. The northwestern breeding area is found in the southwestern German regions. Many photos have been captured of these birds spending the winter months perched in pine twigs in Switzerland.

This bird species is given many names all over the world such as Verderón serrano in Spanish, Zitronenzeisig in German, llucareta europea in Catalan, Venturon montagnard in France, and Venturone alpino in the Italian language. This bird species has no subspecies, however, the Corsican finch was earlier regarded as a subspecies of the citril finch. The subspecies status was discarded and the Corsican finch is now considered a different species of bird.

The citril finch is a small greenish bird with a grayish body with a brown tinge at the back and a bright face mask, sometimes yellow. Males and females look similar to each other and juveniles lack the bright coloration in the plumage. The birds of the genus Carduelis are seen in abundance all over the world and are currently evaluated as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List.

For more relatable content, check out these blue jay facts and ovenbird facts.

Citril Finch Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a citril finch?

The citril finch (Carduelis citrinella) is a small songbird of the family Fringillidae.

What class of animal does a citril finch belong to?

The citril finch, Carduelis citrinella (Pallas 1764), falls under the class of Aves in the kingdom of Animalia. The bird species was earlier considered a part of the genus Serinus and had a scientific name Serinus citrinella. These birds are members of the order Passeriformes.

How many citril finches are there in the world?

The population of these birds is not known. However, it is expected that the population should be between 500,000-565,000 with distribution all around Europe. The distribution of these birds has a large area of occurrence with a range of 428,573.3 sq mi (1,110,000 sq km). There is no major threat currently for the species and has a status of Least Concern at the moment.

Where does a citril finch live?

The citril finch range of distribution according to the map is restricted to European countries. The birds are found in south and central Europe. The citril finch migrate small distances in the winter months.

What is a citril finch's habitat?

The citril finch habitat consists of montane woodland with spruce and pine. These birds are found in cool alpine climates from 2300-4920 ft (701-1500 m) in Germany and from 3280-4920 ft (1000-1500 m) in Switzerland. In the non-breeding season, these birds are found at an altitude of 10826 ft (3299.7 m) or more.

These birds are known for breeding in southwestern Europe from Spain to the Italian Alps.

Who do citril finches live with?

There is no data whether these birds are solitary or enjoy living in groups. The closely related European goldfinch is a social bird that lives in large groups or flocks. These birds flock together during migration in the winter months.

How long does a citril finch live?

The lifespan of the bird is not known. The European goldfinch lives close to about 8-12 years.

How do they reproduce?

In Switzerland, it has been observed that the breeding season starts in the second half of April. There is always a second clutch found and in Switzerland, the eggs from the second clutch are laid in June and until the start of July. In Italy, the breeding season is from late April to mid of June. In northeast Spain, eggs are laid from April to June. Nests are usually placed in the upper parts of trees and hidden in dense forests.  

Females usually lay a clutch of four to five citril finch eggs. The incubation period is 13-14 days, while the fledging period is 16-17 days. The birds spend the non-breeding period migrating to other parts of Europe.

What is their conservation status?

The citril finch (Carduelis citrinella/Serinus citrinella) is categorized as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. The current population of the species is quite stable now with lots of breeding and non-breeding birds found all over Europe. The Switzerland population is also quite stable.

Citril Finch Fun Facts

What do citril finches look like?

The citril finch color is a gray-green with a yellow face mask, yellow lower body, and rump. The wings are blackish in color with two greenish-yellow colored wing bars. There is a brown tinge to the back and has black streaks. Younger females may be duller, however, both sexes are similar in appearance. Juveniles are brown with no yellow or green coloration on the body.

The Corsican finch, a bird earlier considered to be a subspecies of the citril finch, has dark-streaked brown upperparts and the yellow underparts are brighter than the citril finch.

The Citrinella citril finch is a green-colored bird with a yellow lower body.

How cute are they?

The yellow coloration and the distinct song of this bird makes it quite cute.

How do they communicate?

The citril finch song is silvery tweeting and the call is a 'tee-tee'. The song resembles that of a European serin and European goldfinch.

How big is a citril finch?

The citril finch (Carduelis citrinella) is up to 4.7 in (12 cm) long. The European goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) is similarly sized to the citril finch (Carduelis citrinella) with a length that has a range between 4.7–5.1 in (12-13 cm).

How fast can a citril finch fly?

The information on the speed is not known.

How much does a citril finch weigh?

The weight of a citril finch can be up  to 0.027 lb (12.2 g). In comparison, the house finch has a weight between 0.035-0.059 lb (15.8-26.7 g).

The European serin (Serinus serinus) of the same family Serinus that was once considered a citril finch has the same length of around 4.3-4.7 in (11–12 cm).

What are the male and female names of the species?

A citril finch male and a citril finch female are not given different names.

What would you call a baby citril finch?

A citril finch baby is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The citril finch diet consists of seeds, plant materials, and insects.

Are they dangerous?

They are not considered dangerous.  

Would they make a good pet?

The citril finch should not be considered a pet and should be left free in the wild to thrive. This is very common in Europe so you are very likely to spot one in its wild habitat. Also, they are not dangerous so you may be to get quite close to one.

Did you know...

Finches can have a lot of predators which include cats, Cooper's hawks, and sharp-shinned hawks. The nests of any finch species are predated by blue jays, common crows, eastern chipmunks, common grackles, fox squirrels, rats, skunks, raccoons, snakes, and household cats. Raptors can also feed on finches.  

This bird is loved all over the world with local names like Venturon montagnard in France, Verderón serrano in Spanish, Zitronenzeisig in German, Venturone alpino in Italian, and llucareta europea in Catalan.

After information was collected from many pieces of research, it was found this bird migrates small distances during the winters.

How did the citril finch get its name?

The citril finch (Carduelis citrinella) gets its name from the meaning of the scientific name. The genus Carduelis indicates the European goldfinch, while 'citrinella' in the Italian language means a 'small yellow bird'.

What threats does the citril finch face?

This is a bird with a large area of distribution that is not of concern at the moment. However, the bird faces issues like habitat degradation and predation by larger birds and animals.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these common swift facts and black cuckoo facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable bird coloring pages.

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