Serinus citrinella  

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Citril finch

Carduelis citrinella (Serinus citrinella)

Geographical distribution and habitat

The Citril Finch can be found in the wild in the mountains of Western Europe, Pyrenees, France, Switzerland (Jura) and the Austrian Alps. Also in the far south of Germany. There are several independent populations in several mountain areas. There are reports that the Citril Finch is spotted far away off their original habitat. Carduelis citrinella is a mountain bird which needs pine trees, firs and conifers in it's habitat. In the wild this bird looks for weedseeds and treeseeds as food. They feed on seeds they find in the wild at that time, that can be dozens of seeds, including many grasseeds, sometimes in big variation, sometimes with limited choice. During summer, the period in which there is offspring, they feed especially on dandelion seeds and later in the season on docks and sorrels. Aphids and other small insects are fed to their chicks. The scientific classification of the Citril Finch is changed frequently. Jorge Zamora and his associates – based on DNA research published in 2006- that the far ancestors of as well the Citril Finch of the Alps as well the Corsican Citril Finch belong to the genus Carduelis. Based on those studies they classified the European Citril Finches as Carduelis. The Serinus-Society follows James F. Clements checklist, where in the most recent version (2019) both European Citril Finches are classified in the genus Carduelis.

Size: 12-13 cm (4.7 - 5.1 Inch)

Description and subspecies

The male is clearly more intensively coloured then the female. The latter shows a more faded wingstriping and shows striping at the back. Carduelis citrinella has no subspecies. Carduelis Corsicana (from Corsica and Sardinia) looks similar to the Citril Finch, the difference is the brown back of the Corsican Citril Finch. Comparing to all other Serinus and Crithagra species, the delicate beak of the European and the Corsican Citril Finch is remarkable.


The Citril Finch belongs to native European birds. Be aware of the regulations of your country. These birds need to be ringed, due to legal requirements, with a ring as required by the government, for protected native and foreign birdspecies.




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