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Rare winter visitor. One of the many finches that occasionally extend their range this far south only during severe winters. Kuwait is near the southern limit of this species’ regularly occurring winter range. Small flocks are sometimes observed, even in desert wadis or along the coast.
Where in Kuwait
It feeds on the ground, and low down in bushes in farmlands where it also uses weedy fields to forage; so the few records from Sulaibiya are logical.
In the world
It has an extremely large range and in Europe, trends since 1980 show that populations have undergone a moderate decline. It breeds in Europe, western Asia and north Africa. It is partially resident, but many eastern and northern birds migrate further south in the breeding range or move to the coasts. It is an attractive finch, which was highly sought after as a cage bird in the 19th century for its pleasant melodious song.
Habitat loss and degradation and pesticides/hervbicides.