Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-breasted Greenfinch (Chloris spinoides)


French: Verdier de l’Himalaya German: Himalajagrünfink Spanish: Verderón del Himalaya

Carduelis spinoïdes


, 1831,

Simla, north-western India


Has in the past been considered conspecific with C. monguilloti and/or C. ambigua. Race heinrichi is moderately distinct, but some male specimens in NHMUK show vestigial yellow submoustachial line. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. s. spinoides (Vigors, 1831) – N Pakistan E in Himalayas to Bhutan and NE India (W Arunachal Pradesh) and SW China (S Xizang); status uncertain in E Afghanistan.
  • C. s. heinrichi (Stresemann, 1940) – NE India (S Assam hills, Nagaland and Manipur) and W Myanmar (Chin Hills S to Mt Victoria).
  • Descriptive notes

    12–14 cm; 15–20·8 g. Medium-sized finch with conical bill, bright yellow wingbars and notched tail. Male nominate race has top of head black or blackish-... read more


    Song, from treetops or during display-flight, a long series of rapid twitters interspersed with... read more


    Submontane and montane open forests of oak (Quercus), rhododendron (Rhododendron... read more

    Food and feeding

    Variety of seeds, including pine (Pinus) and alder, also downy seedheads of Asteraceae, especially thistles (Cirsium,... read more


    Season May–Sept; one brood. Monogamous. Solitary and loosely colonial, up to six nests within radius of 15 m, and often two nests in... read more


    Resident and partial altitudinal migrant. Birds at higher altitudes either resident (to 2700 m in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common. Fairly common to very common in N Indian Subcontinent; locally common in SW China; locally common in W Myanmar.

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2020). Yellow-breasted Greenfinch (Chloris spinoides). 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 25 February 2020).