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Introduction to Chaffinch

The chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) is one of the most widespread and familiar bird species in the world. It is commonly found in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The chaffinch is a small finch, part of the Fringillidae family, that is easily identifiable in its colourful plumage. The male’s feathers are typically steel grey, black and white, with a chestnut coloured breast, while the female’s feathers are more plain and brown.


The chaffinch is 16–17 cm (6–7 in) in length and is considered a small- to medium-sized songbird. Its wingspan is 25–29 cm (10–12 in). The male chaffinch is known for its brightly coloured plumage and distinctive markings. Its head and back are steel grey, while its chest and belly are chestnut brown. The nape of its neck and its cheeks are white, and there is a black patch that covers its forehead, eyes and throat. The wings are black and white, with white wingbars that are clearly visible. The female chaffinch is much less colourful than the male, only having a pale brown breast, back and sides.


The chaffinch is a very social bird, and is often seen in groups. It is a vocal species and can produce a variety of calls, from soft and buzzing “tee-pee-tee” songs to more melodious and varied trills. The chaffinch will also use its wings and tail for communication, fanning and dipping them in a display of territoriality or warning to other birds.

The chaffinch feeds mainly on seeds, buds, flowers and insects. In winter, it will often visit bird feeders and bird tables. It will also supplement its diet with berries and fruit.


The chaffinch will typically lay up to five eggs in a nest, however, they may lay up to eight if conditions are favourable. The nest is usually cup-shaped and is built from grass, twigs and moss, and lined with animal hair or feathers. The eggs will usually hatch within 11-15 days. The young birds are believed to fledge between 14-18 days.

Chaffinch two


The chaffinch is most commonly found in woodland and hedgerows across its range. However, it is also known to inhabit suburban areas and gardens. It is usually found singly or in pairs, although it can also be seen in small flocks when conditions are favourable.


The chaffinch is classified as a species of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Its population is relatively stable and there is no major source of threat to its habitats.


The chaffinch is one of the most widespread and endearing songbird species in the world. Its bright and colourful plumage, its sociable nature, and its ability to feed on a variety of foods, make it a favourite among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. Despite its wide range, the chaffinch is not considered to be at risk, and its population is believed to be relatively stable.

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