Living Organisms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Passeriformes / Fringilidae / Fringilla / Species
Fringilla coelebs - Chaffinch (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Vink (Holland).
  • Pinson des arbres (France).
  • Buchfink (Germany).
  • Fringuello (Italy).
  • Pinzón común (Spain).
  • Bofink (Sweden).

(B162)

Names for newly-hatched

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Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

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References

Species Author

Gordon McLeod

Species Editor

Debra Bourne

Major References

B162, B163, B164, B165, B166

Aviculture references:

ORGANISATIONS
(UK Contacts)

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

  • Finches, Siskins, Linnets, Crossbills, Buntings.

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

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Aviculture Information

Notes

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Management Techniques

Click image for main Aviculture Section

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length Head to tail:

Wingspan:

  •  24.5-28.5cm (B162)

Winglength:

  • Male: 86-95mm (B162)
  • Female: 81-86mm (B162)
Adult weight Male 20-29g. (B162)
Female 18-27g. (B162)
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Short, stubby, blue-grey. (B162, B165, B166)
Variations (If present) --
Eyes Male Black. (B162, B166)
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Light brown, chestnut to olive. (B162, B165)
Eyes (Iris) Black. (B162)

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Legs

Adult Male Medium length, reddish-brown. (B162, B165, B166)
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Brown. (B162)

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Plumage

Adult Male
  • Upperparts: Brown; shoulder grey; rump buff.
  • Head:  Crown blue-grey; cheeks reddish-pink.
  • Underparts: Pink to reddish-pink; throat reddish-pink.
  • Wings: Dark brown with yellowish edges to feathers upper flight feathers and coverts black with white bands.
  • Tail: Medium length, with notched end; upper and under: Black, with white outer edges and paler grey band along center of tail.

(B162, B165, B166)

Variations (If present) Female:
  • Upperparts: Buff-brown
  • Head: Crown Buff-brown / dark brown; cheek brown eyebrow grey
  • Underparts: Buff-cream.

(B162, B165, B166)

Juvenile
  • Upperparts: Light, buffy brown.
  • Wings: Black with white feather edges.
  • Underparts: Buff-cream.

(B162, B165, B166)

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

Altricial, helpless, downy, eyes closed. (B163, B166)

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year
  • April to July, though temperature dependant: earlier in south-west Europe, later in north-east. (B162)
  • Britain: late April to mid-June. (B162)
No. of Clutches 1-2. (B163, B166)

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Nest placement and structure

  • Located in fork of tree or bush.
  • Commonly 2-4m from ground, up to 15m.
  • Woven cup of grass fibers, moss and lichens bound together with spider-silk.
  • Nest lined with hair, lichen, feathers and other soft materials.

(B162, B163, B166)

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average 4-5 (B162, B163, B166)
Range 3-6 (B162); 2-8 (B163)
Egg description: Smooth, slightly glossy, 20mm in length. Variable colouration, from pale blue-green to reddish-grey, with reddish or purple-brown blotches or scrawls, often concentrated at the broad end.

(B162, B163, B166)

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Incubation

10-16 days (B162); 11-13 days (B163, B166)

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Hatching

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Fledging

11-18 days (B162); 12-15 days (B163, B166)

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Sexual Maturity

Males --
Females --

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Feed in trees for invertebrates in spring and summer, and on ground in large flocks for seeds during rest of the year. (B162, B163)
Newly-hatched Fed by parents. (B163)

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building By female only. (B163)
Incubation By female only. (B163)
Newly-hatched Fed by both parents, mostly by female. (B162, B163)
Juveniles

Fed by parents for several days after fledging. (B163)

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific
  • Gregarious outside the breeding season, forming flocks for feeding and migration. (B162)
Inter-specific --

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Sexual Behaviour

  • Generally monogamous.
  • Occasional successive bigamy by males.
  • Males readily promiscuous, though likely females play an active role.

(B162, B163)

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Predation in Wild

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Activity Patterns

  • Perches openly.
  • Flits and hops.
  • Takes off from both ground and vegetation.

(B166)

Circadian --

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Natural Diet

Adults

  • Fruit and seeds (crushed, not dehusked).
  • Invertebrates (caterpillars) taken in spring and summer.

(B162, B163, B166)

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Newly-hatched

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal Common throughout western Palearctic, breeds in northern Iran, and as far east in Asia as Irkutsk. (B162)

Britain: Common throughout Britain, except on some Scottish islands. (B162, B166)

Migration:

  • Resident in Europe, though migrates from north-east to south and south-west . (B162)

Palearctic; winters to northern Africa, southern Asia; introduced South Africa, New Zealand (B89)

Occasional and Accidental Bear Island, Iceland (annual). (B162)
Introduced

 New Zealand and South Africa (Cape Town). (B162)

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Habitat

  • Temperate woodlands through to steppe lands on edge of tundra.
  • Widespread anywhere with bushes.
  • Common in gardens, heaths, woodlands, fields and hedgerows.

(B162, B163, B166)

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

Two additional distinct geographic races, differing notably in head patterns and colouration of upperparts of male.
  • Fringilla coelebs spondiogenys (North Africa). Crown and nape of male medium blue-grey with black lore. side of head and neck bluish ash-grey with white eye-ring. Mantle and shoulders bright green, back and rump green or mixed green and blue-grey. Tail mostly white.
  • Fringilla coelebs canariensis (Atlantic Islands). Upperparts deep slate-blue. Black bar on forehead. Rump bright green, while feather tips of upperparts tend to olive-brown in fresh plumage. Cheeks ochre or orange, with rest of head and neck dark blue-grey.

(B162

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Widely distributed across Europe (B163)

General Legislation
  • This species is listed on Schedule 3 - Part I (Birds which may be sold alive at all times if ringed and bred in captivity: Notes on the revised schedules state "NB: Certain birds on Schedule 4 may also be sold under licence provided they are registered with the DETR") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
CITES listing Listing not yet included.
Red-data book listing Listing not yet included.
Threats --

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Captive Populations

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Trade

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