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Chaffinch

From Opus

Male of subspecies F. c. gengleriPhoto by vicky_kingYnys-hir, Wales, July 2004
Male of subspecies F. c. gengleri
Photo by vicky_king
Ynys-hir, Wales, July 2004
Fringilla coelebs

Contents

[edit] Identification

Length 14-18 cm, weight 17-29 g

  • Large double white wing bars and below the lower an extra white spot.
  • White tail edges
  • Greenish rump
  • Breeding male: Reddish-pink underparts and grey cap.
  • Winter male: Colours slightly duller, with wingbars often tinged yellow-buff.
  • Female: Drabber and greener, but still obvious.
  • Immature: As female, but with wingbars even duller yellow-buff.
Female of subspecies F. c. gengleriPhoto by postcardcv RSPB Ynys-hir, Wales, July 2004
Female of subspecies F. c. gengleri
Photo by postcardcv
RSPB Ynys-hir, Wales, July 2004

Variation: Males in north Africa and The Canaries look quite different, more blue/green and less red colours showing. See also ref[1]

[edit] Similar species

Brambling is often found together with Chaffinches in winter; it differs in an orange (not pink) breast and wingbars, whiter belly, dark spots on the flanks, white rump, and lacking the white sides to the tail.

[edit] Distribution

Widespread and very familiar throughout Europe. It is the most common finch in most of western and northern Europe. Its range extends into western Asia, north-western Africa, the Canary Islands and Madeira.

It is also found on Tenerife and Gran Canaria, along with the related endemic Blue Chaffinch.

Summer visitor in northern and eastern Europe, found all year in the rest of Europe.

Introduced in New Zealand and the Cape Town area of South Africa.

[edit] Taxonomy

Male of subspecies F. c. africanaPhoto by sdalyMiddle Atlas, Morocco, November 2005
Male of subspecies F. c. africana
Photo by sdaly
Middle Atlas, Morocco, November 2005

[edit] Subspecies

Male of subspecies F. c. canariensisPhoto by acrocephalus00La Gomera, Canary Islands.
Male of subspecies F. c. canariensis
Photo by acrocephalus00
La Gomera, Canary Islands.

There are 16 subspecies[2] which can be grouped into three main groups: European (including southwest Asia), north African, and the forms on the Atlantic islands. Some authors have suggested some of these subspecies may deserve status as full species, but this is not supported by genetic data[3].

[edit] Habitat

Woods, hedges, parks and gardens.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

It builds a neat cup of grass lichen or moss. The clutch consists of 4-5 light blue eggs, with purply-brown spots. Incubation takes 12-13 days with a further 13-16 days to fledging. There is 1 brood in the season which lasts from April to the end of June.

[edit] Diet

Male in flightPhoto by RookeryTe Awanga, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, July 2011
Male in flight
Photo by Rookery
Te Awanga, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, July 2011

The diet includes insects in breeding season and mainly seeds at other times.

[edit] Vocalisation

Song: A series of Chip-Chip-Chip notes
Call: A loud Pink Pink


Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Thread in the BF id forum discussing aberrant bluish Chaffinch.
  2. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  3. Collinson, M. (2001). Evolution of the Atlantic-island Chaffinches. Brit. Birds 94 (3): 121–124.
  4. Bird Watching
  5. Birdforum thread with taxonomy info. In post 6 there is info on separating African from European versions

[edit] External Links


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