Male Chaffinch


Scientific name: Fringilla coelebs

Did you know: Chaffinches are sometimes called ‘bachelor finches’ because while the males stay near their breeding territories in winter, the females migrate further south.

What Do Chaffinches Look Like? (how to identify them)

Chaffinches are a visual delight with males sporting a striking combination of a blue-grey cap, orange-pink breast and cheeks, and an orange-brown back, making them slightly larger than a robin. 

Females present a more subdued palette with hints of green, yellow, and a less streaky appearance compared to female house sparrows. 

When in flight, look for a flash of white on the wings and outer tail feathers which makes them easier to spot.

Differences Between Male And Female Chaffinches

The male chaffinch is vividly coloured with a distinct blue-grey crown and pinkish underparts. 

In contrast, the female is predominantly brown, adorned subtly with hints of green and yellow, and lacks the male’s vibrant breast and cap, showcasing nature’s flair for sexual dimorphism in birds.

What Do Chaffinches Eat?

Chaffinches adapt their diet seasonally: in summer, their diet primarily consists of invertebrates, particularly caterpillars, while seeds become the mainstay as the year moves towards winter. 

This dietary flexibility helps them thrive in various environments.

Where Do Chaffinches Live? (inc. migration info)

Chaffinches are widespread across the UK, inhabiting everything from woodlands to urban gardens. Although they are year-round residents in many areas, female chaffinches are known to migrate southward for the winter, while males typically remain near their breeding territories, highlighting an interesting behavioural adaptation to seasonal changes.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Chaffinches)

The male chaffinch is renowned for its melodious and complex song, used to attract mates and defend its territory. Interestingly, chaffinches exhibit regional song variations, akin to human accents, which can differ noticeably between birds from different areas.

Fun Chaffinch Facts (kid-friendly)

  • Male chaffinches are one of the most colourful garden birds in the UK.
  • Despite their beauty, their mottled feathers help them blend seamlessly into the forest floor when foraging.
  • Chaffinches are known for their loud and varied songs and calls.
  • Chaffinches build neat, bowl-shaped nests from spiders’ webs, moss, and grass, and line them with feathers.
  • Unlike many birds, male and female chaffinches have different winter habits, with females often migrating further south.
  • Although they visit gardens, chaffinches prefer to forage under bird tables rather than on them.
  • The chaffinch is so prevalent and beloved in the UK, it appears frequently in British folklore and songs.

Chaffinch Video

Facts About The Chaffinch

Diet: Chaffinches eat insects and seeds
Bird Family: Finches
Length: 14cm
Wingspan: 24 - 29cm
Weight: 17 - 30g
Scientific Name: Fringilla coelebs

The Chaffinch Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Chaffinch Images

Male Chaffinch Male
Female Chaffinch Female
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Chaffinch Fledgling Fledgling
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