Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs

Other Names: There are many local names for this well-known little bird including Dapfinch (Devon), Chink Chawdy in Cornwall, Pie Finch (for its variety of colours), Scobby (Northern counties of England and Scotland), Briskie (Scotland) and Spink, Pink, Tink, Twink and many others, all after their rather monotonous call. Sheld Apple was also wide-spread, Sheld means variegated and Apple may be a corruption of Alp which is the oldest known name for a Bullfinch. Apple Bird was used in Cornwall and Char Bob in Derbyshire.
Habitat: Woodlands for nesting, parks, gardens, hedgerows. Winters in gardens and farmland, especially stubble fields.
Worldwide: It is the most common finch in Western Europe, although it is not common throughout the continent. West Asia, Northwest Africa, the Azores and Madeira. Northern birds migrate south towards north Africa.
UK: All except some of the outer islands of Scotland.
Numbers: Worldwide: 70,000.
U.K.: About 6 million breeding pairs
Food: Seeds although young are fed on insects.
Breeding: Lays about 4 – 5 blue–green eggs with purple streaks in a neat nest built into a tree or bush.
Bill: Seed.
Length: 14 – 16 cm.
Wingspan: 25 – 29 cm.

The Chaffinch is one of our most regular Garden Birds, although it more often then not feeds from the ground around the bird table then on it. The smaller bird seeds attract them more then the larger wheat kernals.
Finch was the original name for the Chaffinch. The bird probably got its full name as it was seen around threshing floors and barn doors looking for grains among the chaff.
The name “coelebs” means bachelor and probably refers to the habit of the females migrating further south than the males leaving them to over winter as bachelors.
It is one of the most common birds in Britain, although it was threatened in Kent and East London as they were trapped for singing contests, some of which was subject to dubious practises. This was outlawed in 1896 and numbers soon improved.
Loud “pink” and a warbling song.
A bird that is often crossed with a Canary to produce a Chaffinch Mule, among Bird Keepers, producing a nice colourful cock birds with a lovely song. The young chaffinch requires livefood supplied to be reared in capivity successfully.

Goebel Chaffinch Photographer
P. Cumberland,
female Chaffinch July
Chaffinch male
Photo, Nov,
P. Cumberland
Chaffinch matting,
photo, April
P. Cumberland
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