Tag Archives: Grønnfink

Is feeding birds a good thing?


Feeding birds in winter isn’t necessarily a good thing and at least one study has shown that birds lay lower numbers of eggs when fed well, perhaps due to an unnatural unbalanced oil-rich diet: https://blog.nature.org/science/2015/01/05/winter-bird-feeding-good-or-bad-for-birds
However, there are many studies showing the opposite. But is good winter survival and artificially high populations necessarily a good thing apart from entertaining us and increasing awareness of the natural world.
Then there’s the spread of disease at bird feeders as with the greenfinch (grønnfink) in the UK (populations plummeted and bird feeders no doubt contributed to the spread).  That birds are discouraged from migrating and stay in the same area year round can also lead to greater exposure to disease.
But what about the production of bird food? That happens often in large fields, mostly using conventional BigAg non-organic systems which directly impacts local bird populations by pesticides and habitat loss. Here in Norway, little of the bird feed is grown in-country. 
For these reasons, I try as far as possible to provide natural food for the birds so that they can find alternatives and I can delay putting out food as long as possible. Home grown apples are put out for the thrushes, I tidy seed heads in spring and nettle seeds loved by finches are allowed to hang all winter. Local grain can also be put out for yellowhammers (gulspurv).
In the case of goldfinches (stillits), their main food is burdock (borre) and I have introduced Arctium lappa (greater burdock / storborre) to my garden for them and greenfinches (grønnfink). However, at this time of year they tend to move over to the birdfeeder.
Here’s a couple of videos from the weekend of these beautiful birds that once were rare in this part of Norway, but are becoming more common each year. See other goldfinch posts here: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?s=goldfinch



Goldfinch flock returns

They’ve been absent for some time apart from a single bird occasionally. A flock of 6 birds were in the garden most of yesterday:

1) …with Yellowhammers (gulspurv), tree sparrows (pilfink) and house sparrow (gråspurv)

2) ……with greenfinch and yellowhammers (grønnfink og gulspurv)

3) …with a nuthatch doing neck exercises (taken from a film)

Birds sharing Amelanchier alnifolia “Thiessen”

I always thought that thrushes like fieldfares / gråtrost and starlings / stær “shared” the most saskatoon berries (Amelanchier spp.) in my garden, but now I have to rethink as I noticed and filmed both blue tits / blåmeis and greenfinches / grønnfink eating the berries today, the blue tits taking the fruit whilst the greenfinches were eating the seed…
I love the taste of saskatoons both fresh and in particular dried, tasty but not too sweet! However, I think I’ll leave the rest to the birds (not too good a crop this year anyway)…

Greenfinch taking food from the bill of a hawfinch

Following up on yesterday’s film, here we see a greenfinch trying to take morcels of seed from a hawfinch (kjernebiter)..I saw this several times today and yesterday…it happens very quickly, but a still picture (below) seems to show the greenfinch’s beak inside the beak of the hawfinch and the greenfinch is pushed away..

HawfinchandGreenfinch