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Common name Citril finch
Scientific name Carduelis citrinella
Type Forest birds
Status Wintering

Small bird (about 12 cm or 4.5 in) with greenish plumage. Grey head, cheeks, rump and breast; green yellowish underparts. Greenish grey upperparts (more brown in females) and vertical dark stretch marks. In flight dark spots on the wings and tail can be observed.


Woodland environment

Where it lives

Medium and high mountain species linked to open forests of conifers, pine and fir. Frequent in forest edges with mountain meadows more than 1,600 meters above sea level. The breeding population closest to Malaga is in the Sierra Nevada.

How it lives

Exceptional wintering bird in Málaga. The Citril Finch makes small displacements during the winter in which it usually moves to more southerly mountain ranges and lower altitudes looking for a more temperate climate, shelter and food. It breeds from April. One annual laying of 2 to 5 eggs. The abundance of pine nuts can determine that some years it reproduces earlier. This finch consumes all kinds of seeds and buds of herbaceous plants with a special preference for the pine nuts of the conifers.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

In Malaga it is a rare and little frequent species. It is observed only some winters and when this happens it is usually present in most of the mountains of the province. It can be watched especially in the Sierra de las Nieves and the Montes de Malaga.

Curious facts

During the winter of 2014-15 there was a true invasion of citril finches in the south of Spain, with individuals being detected in almost all the provinces of Andalusia. In Malaga there were plenty of observations.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration