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Chaffinch Male Bird

Chaffinch, Identification, Habitat and Food

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20th August 2013

Chaffinch, Identification, Habitat and Food

Identification

Length: 15cm

Their foreheads are black with slate-blue crown and neck. The back and scapulars are a chestnut-brown. The lower back and rump are a yellowish green, with the sides of the head, neck, throat and breast being pink. The belly and under tail coverts are whitish, their flight feathers are black with partial white bits at the base. They have a white patch on their shoulder, a white wing-bar and white in the tail combined with slat-blue head and nape make the male easily identifiable.

The females have upper parts of a yellowish-brown, sides of head and under parts which are pale grey-brown, tinged whitish on the chin, throat and belly. The wings and tail are browner and the wing coverts are less white. The white shoulder patch is conspicuous and helps to distinguish the female from other brown finches.

The young Chaffinch’s are like the female but with a whitish patch on the nape and a brownish-green rump.

Undulating and bounding flight, characteristic of the finches and they are often seen in company with other finches.

Call

Most common call it a ‘pink-pink’. In flight the bird emits a subdued ‘ tseep’. The song consists of a vigorous and rattling succession of notes, ending with a ‘tick.’

Reproduction

Breeding is from April onwards. The male chooses the nesting site but leaves the actual building of the nest to the female. The nest is a deep cub of lichens, grass, roots and feathers lined with plant down and roots. The nest is usually situated in a fork of a tree from three to twelve metres above the ground. The female lays four or five eggs, greenish or light blue with purplish, red-brown mottling or dark markings. Incubation is carried out almost entirely by the female and last for ten to fourteen days. The young leave the nest after thirteen or fourteen days. Usually double brooded.

Habitat

Chaffinch’s choose hedges, woodland gardens and cultivated land, frequent in town suburbs.

Natural Food

Mainly seeds, also consumes fruit and sometimes invertebrates.

Where to Feed

Feeder – Ideally above 1m in height

Table – Open topped or covered

Ground – Scatter food in the open