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Common Chaffinch

 Fringilla coelebs

Length: 5.5 to 6 inches Wingspan: 10 to 11 inches Seasonality: Non-resident in South Dakota
ID Keys: (males) Dark forehead, rich grey crown and nape, salmon-colored face and underparts

Common Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebsThe Common Chaffinch is a bird of the Old World, with a range that covers most of Europe, northwest Africa, and northwestern parts of Asia.  A popular bird in Great Britain, they were also introduced in a number of former British colonies. Populations persist in New Zealand where they are one of the most numerous songbirds, while small populations persist in South Africa.  In the Western Hemisphere, they are rare vagrants, with most birds found near the Atlantic coastline of eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.

Habitat: Found in a very wide variety of habitats.  They can be found in open forests and forest edges, areas of shrubland and grasses, farm fields and orchards, suburban yards, and parks.

Diet: Primarily feeds on seeds and grains.  During the breeding season, young are fed insects, and adults too will feed on insects during this time.

Behavior: Usually is found on the ground, foraging for seeds.

Nesting: The nest is a small cup built in the fork of a tree by the female. Clutch size is typically 3 to 5 eggs.  Incubation and time to fledge are both about 2 weeks.  Both the male and female take care of the young after hatching.

Song: The song of a Common Chaffinch is often referred to as chip chip chip chewy chewy chewy.

Migration: Considered a permanent resident in warmer parts of its normal Eurasian range, but populations that breed in colder climates are migratory.  In many colder areas, the females alone migrate to warmer climates for the winter, while males stay behind for the winter.

Feeders: Common Chaffinch are common at feeders in their normal range, attending for most commonly offered seeds.

Interactive eBird Map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Common Chaffinch sightings

Similar Species: Unique and easily identified compared to native North American birds.  May possibly be confused with Brambling, another visitor from the Old World.

Conservation Status: Populations are considered stable, and the IUCN lists the Common Chaffinch as a species of "Least Concern"

Further Information: 1) New Zealand Birds Online - Common Chaffinch

2) - Common Chaffinch

3) - Common Chaffinch

Photo Information: Photo taken by Israel Gutierrez - March 7th, 2011 - Onis, Asturias, Spain - Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License


Click below for a higher-resolution map
Common Chaffinch - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Non-resident in South Dakota

Additional Common Chaffinch Photos (Coming soon...)