Ligurinus chloris (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 301 (1766) ; (Naum.) v. p. 62, Taf. 120, figs. 1, 3 ; (Hewitson) i. p. 204, pl. lii. fig. 1 ; (Gould) B. of E. iii. pl. 200 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iii. pl. 39 ; Newton, ii. p. 105 ; Dresser, iii. p. 567, pl. 174 ; (Sharpe) Cat. B. Br. Mus. xii. p. 21 ; Saunders, p. 169 ; Lilford, iv. p. 50. pl. 24 ; Chloris chlorotica, (Cab.) Mus. Hein. i. p. 158 (1850) ; Sharpe, tom. cit. p. 26.
Verdier ordinaire, French ; Verdilhao, Portug. ; Verdon, Span. ; Verdone, Ital. ; Grunling, German ; Grocnling, Dutch ; Gronirisk, Dan. ; Svenske, Norweg. ; Gronfink, Swed. ; Vihertava-varpunen, Finn. ; Zelenouschka, Russ.
Male ad. (England). Crown, nape, and upper parts ashy grey marked with apple-green ; forehead, space above the eye and rump greenish golden yellow ; wings and tail blackish the basal outer web of primaries broadly margined with bright yellow, and edge of wing bright yellow ; secondaries and wing-coverts margined and tipped with slate-grey ; basal half of outer tail-feathers yellow, all rectrices being margined with slate- grey ; lores blackish ; under parts greenish yellow, the flanks and lower abdomen slaty grey, the lower breast and middle of abdomen bright yellow ; bill dull reddish brown, darker at the tip and paler at the base below : legs fleshy wood-brown ; iris hazel. Culmen 0.5, wing 3.55, tail 2.5, tarsus 0.7 inch. The female is less brightly coloured, and less marked with yellow.
Hab. Europe as far north as Sundsvall in Sweden ; accidental in Madeira ; east as far as Persia and north-western Turkestan, wintering in north-west Africa.
Inhabits groves, the outskirts of forests, gardens, and cultivated places, and unless protected is somewhat shy. It feeds chiefly on seeds, but will eat berries and insects. It is not a true migrant but a wanderer in the autumn and winter. Its flight is strong, resembling that of a sparrow. Its call-note is a harsh and prolonged schaar and its song is not of a high order. Nidification commences in April and the eggs are deposited in May, a second brood being often raised in the season. The nest is placed in a hedge, on a bush or a tree, and is a fairly neat structure of grass-bents, rootlets, moss, and wool, lined with similar but liner materials, and the eggs 4 to 6 in number are white with a faint sea-green tinge, sparingly marked with pale purplish red shell and deep red surface-spots and blotches, averaging about 0.8 by 0.6, and the markings are usually more numerous at the larger end.
Specimens from the southern portion of its range are rather brighter in coloration and extremely bright varieties from Palestine and Syria have been separated under the name I. chloroticus and intermediate varieties from Algeria under that of L. aurantiiventris (Cab.) Mus. Hein. i. p. 158, but after a careful comparison of a series I cannot acknowledge either, even as a subspecies.
416. Ligurinus chloris