© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, Jouko Lehmuskallio, M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.


Fringilla coelebs

  • Name also: Eurasian Chaffinch
  • Family: Finches – Fringillidae
  • Appearance: One of the most common bird species in Finland. White or whitish wing bars, greenish rump and white edges to tail distinctive in all plumages. Males in summer plumage are easily recognisable due to their bright colouring. Females lack reddish pink underparts and cheeks. Males are slightly larger than females.
  • Size: Length 14–16 cm, weight 16–30 g.
  • Nest: In a tree or bush at a height of 1–20 metres. Skillfully made of moss and lichen and camouflaged with lichen and birch bark fragments, lined with feathers and hair. Bowl of nest deep.
  • Breeding: 3–7 eggs laid April–May, incubated by female for 11–15 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 10–15 days, and learn to fly within about 21 days. Often raises two broods.
  • Distribution: Breeds in all kinds of woodland habitats across Finland except in northernmost Lapland. Finnish breeding population estimated at 7–9 million pairs. In the most favourable areas densities may reach 100 nests per square kilometre.
  • Migration: By day, leaving Finland September–October and returning March–May. Winters in Western Europe, also in small numbers in Finland.
  • Diet: Seeds, invertebrates.
  • Calls: In flight “yib”; a warning call “pink” (similar to call of Great Tit); song a loud, chirpy descending scale.

Chaffinches in all plumages can be distinguished by their two white wing bars, greenish rumps, and white edges to the tail. Males have greyish blue caps and napes, brownish pink cheeks and chests, and chestnut brown backs. Females and juveniles have greyish brown caps and pale greyish brown underparts. Chaffinches have brown legs and irises. Males’ beaks are bluish grey with a dark tip in summer (paler in winter) and the beaks of females and juveniles are brown.

After the Willow Warbler the Chaffinch is the most common breeding bird in Finland. In southern parts of the country it is the most common nesting species.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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