Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Oriental Greenfinch (Chloris sinica)


French: Verdier de Chine German: Chinagrünfink Spanish: Verderón chino
Other common names: Grey-capped Greenfinch

Fringilla sinica


, 1766,

Macao, south-east China


Race kittlitzi represents a divergent lineage separate from other populations#R. Race chabarovi sometimes subsumed into ussuriensis. In Japan, proposed race sitchitoensis (described from Hachijo, in Izu Is) synonymized with minor; tokumii, from Kanzaki-machi (Kanzaki-gun area, in NE Saga Prefecture), in SW Kyushu, also synonymized with minor. Six subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. s. sinica (Linnaeus, 1766) – Oriental Greenfinch – C, E & SE China and NE & C Vietnam (E Tonkin and coastal C & S Annam).
  • C. s. ussuriensis E. J. O. Hartert, 1903 – NE China (SE Inner Mongolia E to S Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Hebei), Korea and SE Russia (S Ussuriland).
  • C. s. chabarovi Stegmann, 1929 – Russian Far East (Amurland) and NE China (E Inner Mongolia and N Heilongjiang).
  • C. s. kawarahiba (Temminck, 1836) – E Russia (Kamchatka), Sakhalin, Kuril Is, and N Japan (NE Hokkaido); non-breeding also S to SE China and, rare, Taiwan.
  • C. s. minor (Temminck & Schlegel, 1848) – extreme S Korea (Jeju I) and Japan (S Hokkaido S to Kyushu, including Tsushima I and Izu Is).
  • C. s. kittlitzi (Seebohm, 1890) – Bonin Greenfinch – Ogasawara (Bonin) Is and Iwo Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    12·5–14 cm; 17–22 g. Medium-sized, strong-billed finch with rather short, slightly forked tail. Male nominate race has forehead and face (on some extending... read more


    Song, from end Mar, from high perch or in slow display-flight, a mixture of chattering and coarse... read more


    Lowland and lower montane broadleaf and conifer woodlands, including secondary woodlands, trees and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly variety of seeds, including weed and shrub seeds, sunflower seeds (Helianthus), also rice, buckwheat and other grain;... read more


    Season Mar–Aug; two broods. Displaying male has slow, stiff-winged butterfly-like display-flight, with accompanying song. Nest a deep... read more


    Resident and migratory. Those in N of range move S in Sept–Oct to winter at lower altitudes,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally common; scarce on Kunashir, in Kuril Is. Status in N Vietnam uncertain; probably scarce resident (E Tonkin). Numbers in S China and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2020). Oriental Greenfinch (Chloris sinica). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 February 2020).