Serinus serinus Linnaeus, 1766.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Serin; French: Serin cini; German: Girlitz; Spanish: Verdecillo.
European serins are small finches, with a body length of about 4.3 in (11 cm). They have a short, strong, pointed beak and a slightly forked tail. The male is colored greenish streaked with black on the back, with dark wings and tail, and a yellow rump, head, and chest. The female is darker and duller, and much less yellow.
The European serin breeds widely in Europe and around the Mediterranean basin, including parts of coastal North Africa. It winters in more southern regions of its range.
The European serin inhabits wooded and shrubby hillsides, and also utilizes well-vegetated agricultural areas, such as vineyards, orchards, and plantations.
The European serin is a migratory species. It is gregarious, especially during the non-breeding season when it occurs in flocks, often with other finches. The male defends a breeding territory and attracts a mate by an aerial display and melodic song.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
The European serin feeds on grains and tree seeds.
The nest is built in a tree or bush, usually 6.6–10 ft (2–3 m) above the ground. Eggs are laid from March onward in North Africa, from April on in southern Europe, and in May in central Europe. There is more than one brood per year.
Not threatened. A widespread and abundant species.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
This close relative of the canary is sometimes kept as a cagebird.
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