Chaffinch

(Fringilla coelebs)

Alert Status: Green - 6% decline
Identifying Features: Double white wing bars; male has a pinkish-peach breast with a blue-grey crown & nape. Female has grey-brown underparts
Average Length: 14.5 cm
Average Lifespan: 3 Years
Average Wingspan: 24.5-28.5 cm
Beak type: Seeds

Feeding:
Natural: Seeds, beech-masts & grain
How to feed: Ground feeders & bird tables
What to feed: Mixed seeds, sunflower hearts, peanut granules

Nesting: In a fork of trees or shrubs; cup nest made of moss, grass, feathers & hair bound with spiders' webs
Where to see: Widespead across the UK; usually found in hedgerows, woodlands, fields & parks

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Fascinating Facts

 

Of all the finches in the UK, the chaffinches’ colourful plumage outshines them all.

With shades of grey, brown and green, our male chaffinch is cleverly adapted for camouflage whilst eating on the ground, only showing its prominent pink breast during flight.

The flash of white on the underside of its wings add to its distinguishing features.

The female however is rather dull in comparison, having

an olive green back and grey underparts.

It is common to hear a chaffinch before seeing one as their call is rather loud.

A singing male will utter his song five or six times a minute, and up to 3,000 time a day!

The Victorians used to hold singing matches between cock chaffinches, with the winner being the bird considered to have sung the most phrases in a 15-minute period.

Breeding occurs from April to June, with clutches of four to five eggs. The nests are classically round in shape, constructed with moss, webs and grass, with a lining of feathers.

Chosen nesting sites can be trees, hedges and bushes.

The chaffinch is sometimes referred to as the ‘bachelor finch’ as the males tend to

form large groups in winter, and stay close to their breeding ground.

Female chaffinches tend to migrate further afield.

Chaffinches have been found to have regional accents!

Slight differences in their song have been noticed, depending in which part of

the country that the bird lives!

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