Some of the most colourful birds that can be seen around Clane are the finches, and many of them are attracted to garden bird feeders in the winter…

The Chaffinch (An Rí Rua) is perhaps the most common of our finches, the male a dusky pink with a greyish head, the female brown, both with a white stripe on their wing. Their call is a distinctive “Pink Pink” and they often hop along the ground and under feeders, searching for seeds and scraps.

The Greenfinch (An Glasán Darach) is a stouter finch, the male green and the female browner, both with yellow flashes on their wing. Sadly their numbers are collapsing across the country: an infection (harmless to humans) is taking its toll. Although stout they are not very aggressive, and often wait for their turn on peanut feeders while the smaller house sparrows help themselves.

The Goldfinch (An Lasair Choille) is one of Ireland’s most colourful birds: with a striking red, white and black face and beautiful gold and black wings. They are especially fond of the seeds of thistles – but they have recently developed a taste for peanuts and Nyjer seed and are now attracted to feeders.

The male Bullfinch (An Corcrán Coille) is a striking bright pink and grey finch with a bright white rump, the female similar but duller. They are particularly fond of apples and occasionally visit gardens.

Finally, two smaller types of finches are also seen in gardens around the town. The Redpoll (An Deargéadan Coiteann) is a small, streaked light brown bird with a red forehead and black chin, and the chattering and acrobatic Siskin (An Siscín)is light green and yellow.