Chaffinch by Rob Miller


Fringilla coelebs

Key Facts

  • Length: 14-16cm
  • Wingspan: 26cm
  • Weight: 24g
  • Average Lifespan: 3 years

The Chaffinch is a very common, sparrow-sized finch of gardens, woodland, parks and farmland. Chaffinches build neat, bowl-shaped nests in trees and shrubs.

They feed on seeds and insects and will happily visit birdtables, but do not feed openly on feeders, preferring to hop about on the ground and under hedges instead. Chaffinches are present all year-round and nearly 6 million pairs breed here in summer. They have a loud, pleasant song.

How to Identify

Unmistakeable: the male Chaffinch is one of the most colourful garden birds with a blue-grey crown, brown back and pink breast. Females are brown but are less streaky than female House Sparrows, and have white shoulder patches and wingbars.

Where to Find


How People Can Help

You can help to look after Chaffinches and other garden birds by providing food and water for them – it doesn’t matter if you have a big garden or live in a high-rise flat, there are plenty of feeders, baths and food choices out there to suit all kinds of situations. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there’s plenty of facts and tips to get you started. To buy bird food or feeders, visit the Vine House Farm website – an award-winning wildlife-friendly farm which gives 5% of all its takings to The Wildlife Trusts.

Did you know?

The Chaffinch is known as the ‘Bachelor Finch’: the males spend the winter near to their breeding territories, while the females migrate further south to winter.

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