Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Meet the Chaffinch

Chaffinch: Fringilla coelebs

male chaffinch on tree branch
male chaffinch by annmackiemiller
The pretty chaffinch is the most common finch found in Britain.

It is about 6 inches in length, weighs under 1lb, and has a wing span of about 10 inches. It has a long tail and its short conical beak is ideal for breaking into seeds that is its favourite food, often taken from the ground.

The male is characterised by a grey-blue cap and neck; a chestnut back with pink underparts and a greenish rump. He has white shoulder patches and wing flashes that are more obvious when he is in flight.

The female is olive green with a brown tinge. She has greyish-white underparts and narrow white wing-bars.
female chaffinch
female chaffinch at feeder by annmackiemiller

VIDEO of Chaffinch Singing

If you would like to know what a chaffinch sounds like, click this link. Chaffinch Singing
male chaffinch
Male Chaffinch by annmackiemiller

What do chaffinches eat?

  • caterpillars and insects
  • seeds and berries
  • grass and herb seeds

How do Chaffinches nest?

  • they tend to pick hollows in trees and build a rough cup of a nest they will line with moss.
  • they lay around 4 or 5 eggs
  • the eggs are only incubated by the female
  • they hatch in around 12 days.
  • chicks are fed by both parents
  • they fledge in around 15 days
  • they mostly only have the one brood every year
They will nest in your hedge so be careful when you clip it.

They will come to feeder but also provide them with a ground feeder that is protected from predators and large birds. Provide them with a good mix of bird seed and meal worms in breeding season and winter. 


21 Facts about Chaffinches 


Male chaffinch with seed

"Incoming!" Chaffinch coming in to feeder

female chaffinch
Female chaffinch at garden feeder

male chaffinch
Male chaffinch on branch

male chaffinch
Male Chaffinch at bird feeder

female chaffinch
Female chaffinch looking for food


  1. Lovely photos Ann. We get a few Chaffinches in our garden, lovely birds.

  2. Loved reading about the beautiful chaffinch, they visit us too :) Gorgeous photos Ann.