Male greenfinch feeding female, photo by Elizabeth Dack 1/3
Chaffinch, photo by Paul Taylor 2/3
Goldfinch resting after drinking water, photo by Elizabeth Dack 3/3

Can you find these fantastic finches?


Monday 31 August, 2020


This autumn we'd love you to record sightings of three finches in Norfolk: greenfinch, chaffinch and goldfinch in their next citizen science survey which launches tomorrow. 

During the Covid-19 lockdown many people contacted Norfolk Wildlife Trust to share their sightings and photographs of the wildlife visiting Norfolk gardens. In particular people shared images of birds making the most of the bird feeders and nest boxes, including an increase in the number of greenfinches.   

In 2005 the emergence of a disease called Trichomonosis impacted greatly on greenfinch populations. Although the greenfinch will visit a variety of different habitats to feed, the food provided for birds in gardens is important to greenfinches particularly during late winter and early spring when natural seed supplies dwindle.

According to the British Trust for Ornithology chaffinch numbers have dropped by 30% in eleven years from 2007 to 2018. The reason for this decline is not known, but it may be linked to the Trichomonosis disease that impacted on the greenfinch. The chaffinch, which eats both insects and seeds, prefers to feed under bird feeders or along hedges, rather than visit actual feeders.

The goldfinch is a striking, small finch of gardens, parks, woodland, heathland and farmland. It eats small seeds and invertebrates and will visit bird tables and feeders too. During winter, goldfinches roam in flocks of up to a hundred birds searching for food. However, some of our UK birds will migrate as far south as Spain to avoid the worst of the harsh weather.

Whether you are lucky enough to have them visit your garden, or you see them on your local patch, you can help us map sightings within our county so we can build a picture of where they are found.

Gemma Walker, Senior Community Officer at Norfolk Wildlife Trust said: 
“We have picked three fantastic finches for our Autumn survey that we hope people in Norfolk will spot in their gardens and on their local patch, and are asking all sightings to be added to our wildlife spotter map. 

“You don’t have to be an expert to make a valuable contribution to local knowledge of Norfolk’s wildlife. Recording wildlife is an easy way to get involved in wildlife conservation as it helps us to understand a species’ distribution across the county, and identify any areas particularly important or lacking in these species.”

The survey runs September, October and November. Add sightings online at: www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/spotter
 
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