Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
Species: F. coelebs
Scientific name: Fringilla coelebs gengleri,
Common name: Chaffinch
Introduced from Europe between 1862 – 80 and now abundant throughout New Zealand in both native and exotic forest, scrub, farmland, tussock land, parks and gardens.
Chaffinch feed mainly on the ground and eat a mix of seeds (cereals and brassicas, weeds and pine), invertebrates such as spiders, caterpillars, moths, flies and aphids, and small fruits of native trees and shrubs.Breeding is between September and late January. A neat well camouflaged nest of grasses and lichens lined with hair, feathers and wool is built in a tree fork. While the female builds the nest, the male advertises its territory with a distinctive song. Each song is slightly different, and regional dialects have been identified from different parts of New Zealand.
A clutch of 3 – 6 greyish blue eggs with purplish blotches is incubated by the female for 11 – 15 days. The eggs hatch over 1 – 3 days and are brooded by the female. After the fledgling period of 10 – 16 days they continue to be fed by both parents for c. 3 weeks.
Call of the Chaffinch
Photos below are of a male. See blue-grey top of head, pinkish-brown underparts, white wingbars; The male chaffinch is larger than the female. It has a blue-grey head and nape, and pinkish undersides, white wingbars.The females are brownish-grey, white wingbars
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