- Fringilla coelebs
Length 14-18 cm (5½-7 in), 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.
Drabber and greener, but still obvious.
As female, but with wingbars even duller yellow-buff.
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.
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.
Summer visitor in northern and eastern Europe, found all year in the rest of Europe.
There are 16 subspecies 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.
- European & SW Asian subspecies:
- F. c. coelebs: continental Europe to western Siberia and Asia Minor; resident or migratory, winters south to Africa and Nepal
- F. c. gengleri: British Isles, Orkneys and Outer Hebrides; resident
- F. c. balearica: Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands; resident
- F. c. sarda: Sardinia; resident
- F. c. schiebeli: Crete; resident
- F. c. syriaca: Cyprus and Levant; resident
- F. c. solomkoi: Crimean Peninsula and Caucasus; resident
- F. c. alexandrovi: northern Iran; resident
- F. c. transcaspia: northeastern Iran (Kopet Dagh and Khorasan); resident
- North African subspecies:
- Atlantic islands subspecies:
Woods, hedges, parks and gardens.
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.
The diet includes insects in breeding season and mainly seeds at other times.
Song: Song: Continuous and repetitive, especially during the breeding season, starting with 3-4 repeated notes (reminiscent of the beginning of a Willow Warbler's song), followed by a "bubbling trill" and ending with a flourish.
Call: A loud Pink Pink also some "Chip-Chip-Chip" notes.
- Thread in the BF id forum discussing aberrant bluish Chaffinch.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Collinson, M. (2001). Evolution of the Atlantic-island Chaffinches. Brit. Birds 94 (3): 121–124.
- Bird Watching
- Birdforum thread with taxonomy info. In post 6 there is info on separating African from European versions
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2023) Common Chaffinch. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 28 November 2023 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Common_Chaffinch
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