Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)


Young Chaffinches eat caterpillars and other live foods but adults choose seeds, fruits, berries, grains, millet, suet, peanut kernels and even apple slices! You can spot them in winter at bird feeders.


Chaffinches are easily distinguished from other finches. Males have a pink face with a black forehead, pink breast and belly, black wings and a black tail with white outer feathers. The males are very colourful and although females have the same facial features they are much plainer, with an olive-brown plumage. Juveniles look very similar to the females. The male Chaffinch has a blue bill in breeding season but at other times it’s a dull grey-pink colour.


Chaffinches will breed wherever there is woodland and especially love coniferous plantations, although a garden or park with lots of trees and bushes will suit them too. The female builds the nest in the forks of trees or concealed bushes using moss, grass, lichens, roots and feathers all held together with spiders’ webs. They produce a single brood with 4-5 eggs which are either bluish in colour or can be reddish-grey with purple-brown blotches and scrawls. Incubation lasts 10-16 days and is carried out by females.

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