Chaffinch 30 (male).jpg

Chaffinch 32 (female) (Clive Timmons).jpg


Fringilla coelebs

Rí Rua

Whitewing, Chink Chink, Copper Finch

One of Ireland's top-20 most widespread garden birds.

Status: Resident, augmented by winter visitors.

Conservation Concern
: Green-listed in Ireland. The European population is regarded as Secure.

Identification: Our commonest finch - found in woodland, farmland, parks and gardens. In winter can form large flocks of hundreds of birds, especially in stubble fields and under beech trees. Male's breast, face and underside a pinkish orange-brown, becoming a darker, wine shade in winter. Nape and crown blue-grey. The female is much greyer, with washed out warm grey underparts. Both sexes display large white patches on otherwise blackish wings, both when perched and flying - this makes Identification very easy even at some range. Longish tail, which shows a dark centre and white outer feathers in flight.

Similar Species: Brambling

Call: Song a loud, full, bubbly string of notes, starting high and descending throughout, ending with a flourish resembling a wolf whistle. The song is repeated many times. Call a loud "pink" and in flight a subdued short, mellow whistle.

Diet: Mainly seeds, split grain, beechnuts. Feeds young on insects. Will visit bird tables and feeders.

Breeding: Breeds throughout Ireland - mainly in or near woodland, but also in parks and gardens. Nest, of moss and dried grass - often camouflaged with lichens and cobwebs, in a fork near end of branch.

Wintering: Widespread.

Where to See: Common and widespread throughout Ireland.

Monitored by
: Countryside Bird Survey & Garden Bird Survey. 

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