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Reddish Vale Country Park

The chaffinch is one of the best known and most common of all British birds.

 

Both sexes can easily be identified in flight when they reveal double white flashes on the wings and white tail sides. In summer the males have colourful plumage, with rosy-red breast and cheeks and a bluish-grey crown and nape of the neck. These colours fade in winter. Adult females and juveniles have a buff or greyish coloured breast and greyish-green upperparts.

 

Widespread throughout Britain; absent only from high ground such as the Scottish Highlands. During winter, birds from northern Europe migrate to Britain. It is typically the females that migrate, and Linnaeus named the species coelebs, meaning 'the bachelor' because it was the male birds that remained in his native Sweden for the winter.

 

Chaffinches feed on seeds, particulary cereals or weeds, taken from the ground. In summer they may also take invertebrates from the ground or in the air. In winter, native birds tend to feed in small groups near hedges or in woodlands and roost singly or in pairs, whereas migrants from mainland Europe occur in large flocks in fields and roost communally.

Chaffinch

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Length 14-16cm,

Wingspan 24.5-28.5cm,

Weight 18-29g,

Lifespan up to 14yrs,

Diet, insects and seeds,

Up to 5,800,000 pairs.

reddish vale country park

Chaffinch