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24

Common Chaffinch

(Fringilla coelebs)
Alternate name(s): "Chaffinch"
German name(s): "Buchfink"

Size: 14-16 cm; wing span 24.5-28.5 cm
Weight: 15-30 g
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Common Chaffinch at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "coelebs"

ADULT

MALE

BREEDING

Near-frontal view of a male Common Chaffinch in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, March 2018]

Near-frontal/ventral view of a male Common Chaffinch in breeding plumage; this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 3 May 2019 (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, May 2019]

Near-lateral view of a male Common Chaffinch in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, March 2018]

Lateral/ventral view of a male Common Chaffinch in breeding plumage issuing its call; this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 3 May 2019 (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, May 2019]

Lateral/ventral view of a male Common Chaffinch in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Brok, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

Lateral/ventral view of a Common Chaffinch, slightly different posture (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Brok, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

Near-dorsal view of a Common Chaffinch in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, May 2016]

Dorsal view of a male Common Chaffinch in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Brok, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

NON-BREEDING

Frontal view of a male Common Chaffinch in non-breeding plumage; note the pale, brownish colours
(photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, January 2019]

Near-frontal/ventral view of a male Common Chaffinch with a rather pale front; this bird may still be moulting into its breeding plumage (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, May 2016]

Lateral view of a male Common Chaffinch in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, January 2019]

FEMALE

Near-frontal view of a female Common Chaffinch (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, March 2018]

Lateral view of a female Common Chaffinch (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Eltville, Hessen, Germany, March 2018]

Close-up lateral view of a female Common Chaffinch with what looks like a young shoot (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Near Oslo airport, Oslo, Norway, June 2018]

Race "balearica"

ADULT

MALE

BREEDING

Frontal view of a male Common Chaffinch in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, February 2014]

Near-frontal view of a male Common Chaffinch in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, March 2016]

Lateral view of a male Common Chaffinch in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Santa Justa, Coruche, Santarem, Portugal, February 2018]

Lateral view of a male Common Chaffinch in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, February 2014]

Lateral view of a male Common Chaffinch in worn breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Montargil, Alentejo, Portugal, July 2016]

NON-BREEDING

Lateral view of a male Common Chaffinch in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, December 2013]

View onto the upperparts of a male Common Chaffinch in non-breeding plumage in low flight (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Coruche, Santarem, Portugal, January 2019]

FEMALE

Near-frontal view of a female Common Chaffinch (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Santa Justa, Coruche, Santarem, Portugal, January 2018]

Lateral view of a female Common Chaffinch hiding in a dark spot (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, January 2014]

Lateral view of a female Common Chaffinch with a substantial meal (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, December 2017]

Race "sarda"

ADULT

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female Common Chaffinch (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Cala Gonone, eastern Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Near-frontal view of a female Common Chaffinch (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Cala Gonone, eastern Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Lateral view of a Common Chaffinch in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Cala Gonone, eastern Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Near-dorsal view of a Common Chaffinch in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Cala Gonone, eastern Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Race "moreletti"

ADULT

FEMALE

Lateral view of a female Common Chaffinch; note the dull colours and the dark cap of this race (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Pico Island, Azores, November 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a female Common Chaffinch (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Sao Jorge Island, Azores, November 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a female Common Chaffinch (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Sao Jorge Island, Azores, November 2018]

Food, Diet

Like all finches known to us, Common Chaffinches are mainly seed-eaters.

Note that cardueline finches (i.e. European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch, Eurasian Siskin and their close relatives) feed their young primarily regurgitated seeds, while fringilline finches (all others) feed their young primarily invertebrates.

Male Common Chaffinch taking flesh from a fallen acorn (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, January 2016]

Female Common Chaffinch taking a berry (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, September 2016]

Female Common Chaffinch "harvesting" corn (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, January 2014]

Male Common Chaffinch drinking water from a tiny, muddy puddle (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, May 2016]

Male Common Chaffinch drinking water from a tiny, muddy puddle (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, May 2016]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

chfinch_dw_20190429.m4a coelebs
(Poland)
Territorial calls (male) © DW
chfinch_dw_20170522.m4a coelebs
(Poland)
Territorial calls (male) © DW
chfinch_dw_20170522_NR.m4a coelebs
(Poland)
Territorial calls (male); noise removed © DW
chfinch_dw_20160529.m4a coelebs
(Poland)
Territorial calls (male) © DW
chfinch_dw_20160529_2.m4a coelebs
(Poland)
Territorial call (male) © DW
chfinch_dw_20190503.m4a coelebs
(Poland)
Territorial calls (male) + Eurasian Siskin © DW
chfinch_dw_20160507.mp3 coelebs
(Poland)
? © DW

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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