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Wild Finches in Malta

by Mattia Felice 2002

The Linnet (gojjin) (carduelis cannabina)

The Linnet is one of the most common finches that migrate over Malta. It is well known between breeders and trappers. The Linnet is a bird of small size. It is nearly all brown, but it has some red/pink patches on the head and chest which are quite dull in Autumn and Winter but in Spring it gets very bright. The tail is generally all black but it may have some white markings. The hens are usually duller in colour than the cocks. The Linnet breeding season is in spring. The hen lays about 6 eggs, which hatch two weeks after. The chicks leave the nest two weeks after hatching. The cock has a very melodious song. It is much sought after because of this factor. You can purchase a Linnet for between LM 8 Lm20.

The Greenfinch (Verdun) (carduelis chloris)

The Greenfinch is a very popular bird amongst breeders and trappers, well because of its robust appearance and because it gets used to captivity quicker than other species. The Greenfinch's length is 14 cm and its weight 28 grams. From its name we obviously know that the Greenfinch is green but it also has some yellow on the tail and some black on the wings. The hen Greenfinch is less colourful than the cock but there are some exceptions. Only the cock sings, while the hen only calls and chirps. The song of the Greenfinch consists a long buzzing sound ( tzweeeeeeezzzzz) and some short bits of warbling. In a year a pair of greenfinches can raise up to three nests of about five eggs each, from which about three or four chicks live. There are several varieties of Greenfinch ex. European, British, Tunisian, Libyan, Siberian, and cinnamon. The price of a good European Greenfinch is in the range of Lm 10 while the other varieties are quite more expensive ( in the range of Lm 20 or more.)

The Goldfinch (Gardell) (carduelis carduelis)

The Goldfinch is one of the prettiest European Finches, it is quite common in the wild and even amongst breeders. The Goldfinch is about 13cm long and weighs about 20 grams. The most attractive feature of the Goldfinch is the red coloration on its face. On the back of its head it has some black markings. The back and underside are all a brownish shade of gold. The tail and wings are both black, with some yellow and black markings. The Goldfinch breeding season starts in April and finishes in winter. The hen lays 3 light blue eggs with red markings A pair of Goldfinches can raise 3 nests in a breeding season. The song of the Goldfinch is a very melodious one, which consists of warbling and buzzing. Usually the price of a Goldfinch is Lm8.

Donated by Mattia Felice

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