What does a finch look like?


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There are countries in which bird-based tourism is widely developed. This is a whole science that has its fans and professionals. For her, there is even a special term of English origin, which in Russian style sounds like “berding”.

Often people do not even notice those birds that live close by. And in vain! Among the usual birds are quite attractive species, characterized by excellent singing and bright color.

So, chaffinch can be found throughout Europe. The bird is quite unpretentious to the habitat, so it settles not only in forest areas, but also in urban gardens and parks. If you make your observations, you can find out whether the chaffinch is a migratory bird or not. The answer will also be given in this article.

Why chaffinch?

In order to understand the question of the origin of the name, it is worth referring to Russian folklore. There is a sign that the lark sings to the onset of summer, and the finch to the return of frost. The bird arrives from wintering quite early, when spring has not yet fully entered its rights. They immediately begin to sing. People began to say that chaffinch singing warns a person that he will have to prick, that is, it is worth waiting for spring frosts. The Latin name of the bird translates as "cool." Perhaps this means that the cold will come.

According to another version, the chaffinch was named so because during his singing in early spring, he abruptly broke off his trills. It seems as if his breath was out of the cold. This bird also shudders a little while singing. But what does a finch bird look like?


The species belongs to the Ryukov family. Description of the bird (chaffinch) is better to start with the fact that it looks like a sparrow. Only its plumage is much brighter. In males, especially during the breeding season, the head and neck are blue in color. Their cheeks, throat, breast burgundy tone, and forehead - black.

On the black wings are light stripes. A tail of a dark shade with green outflow. By the fall, the color palette fades, the color changes to a brownish color. The color of the female is dominated by gray-green tones.

There are many subspecies of finches. Each of them has distinctive features in appearance. For example, body size or beak shape.

Accommodation features

Finches are classified as migratory birds. Therefore, it is not correct to say that this is a wintering bird. Chaffinch can adapt and stay for the winter if it has chosen a suitable place for itself. Much depends on the region of residence. Finches are settled, wandering, migratory.

For wintering, it does not always leave the limits of one country. He can choose a southern region where winter is milder. For the flight birds gather in flocks of 50-100 individuals. They fly at a speed of 55 kilometers per hour. Along the way they can make stops in areas rich in food. A few days later their flight continues. In places of wintering, they live in packs. Sparrows sometimes adjoin them.

Finches come back in early spring. They settle where there are trees - in forests, city parks, groves. They give preference to spruce spruce forests, light pine forests, mixed forests. Often they fly to the place where they were last summer. Such birds very quickly fly and jump on the ground.

Chaffinch is a bird that sings beautifully. Her songs are loud and sonorous. There are many variations of singing, depending on the individual characteristics of the species. Trills are similar to those performed by the skylark.

Chant lasts three seconds. Then follows a short pause and a repetition of the tune. The young birds play melodies that do not differ in any complexity. They learn from adults, gradually acquiring the skill and improving their virtuosity.

The sounds that finch makes differ depending on the region of residence. In total, his repertoire has up to ten songs. He performs them in turn.

For these birds, it is possible to predict not only the arrival of spring, but also the likelihood of rain. Before the rainfall they perform ryu-ryu-ryu. By autumn, the singing becomes quiet. This is due, most likely with the end of the reproduction period. The male no longer needs to attract the attention of his companion.

At home, the bird sings loudly from January to September. However, it is better not to start her as a pet. Finches do not like to live in cages. They are a lot nervous, trying to fly away, they may refuse to sing. In captivity they are subject to obesity, there are problems with the eyes. If, however, such a bird appeared in the house, you should pay attention to its diet. It should be closer to the natural. How do birds eat in the wild?

The bird finch eats both plant and animal food. For this, she catches various insects, looking for grain. Its beak is very durable. It is complemented by strong facial muscles. Therefore, the bird is able to penetrate the shell of a beetle or a seed shell.

Chaffinch is not off to eat seeds that are sown in the fields. Agricultural workers often complain about them. But, eating a huge number of insects, they bring more benefits, as agrarian crops and forest plantations.

Especially many insects they exterminate in the period of the appearance of chicks. Finches feed them only protein food. What is not so common among the birds of this family.


In spring, birds, finches, the photos and descriptions of which are presented in the article, arrive in flocks united by gender. Males return earlier. They are kept apart from the females. The process of reproduction begins with enticing friends to their territory. For this, the males sing vocally. Sounds like chirping chicks.

March begins the mating season. Before luring a girlfriend, the males need to occupy a nesting site. Usually chosen last year's place. If there are competitors near the nesting place, they are immediately expelled. Therefore, there are frequent fights between adults and first years.

During this period, the males behave fussily, constantly fighting, often interrupting their songs, and their plumage on the head is smoothed.

Chaffinch female is nearby. She flies up to the male, sits down next to him on a branch or on the ground. The female bends its paws, raises its wings with a tail. Her head is thrown up, and from the beak comes a quiet "zi-zi-zi." So a pair is formed.

A month later, they begin to build their home. The main thing in this case is the female, and the male only helps. Researchers estimate that it picks up materials for building a nest from the ground. She goes down about 1300 times. From the ground, the nest is built at a distance of four meters. Although the height and appearance of the tree can be very different.

It takes a week to build a nest. Usually the nest has the shape of a bowl. The bird uses moss, thin rods, grass, roots as the material. Fastening is a web. The nest has rather thick walls - about two centimeters. The outer part is covered with moss, lichen or bark. Inside the bowl is covered with feathers, down, wool. Such a house can not always be seen from the ground, thanks to a good disguise.

The female lays from 3 to 6 eggs. They have a greenish tint with red spots of irregular shape. The female incubates them, and her partner brings food, taking care of her. But the male is not distinguished by monogamy. He can find himself another mate for mating, not forgetting to take care of his offspring.

The chicks of the finch bird are born two weeks after laying. They have visible red skin. Dark fluff covers only the back and head. Kids are helpless. Parents put them in the insects bite. During this period, they can not be disturbed. Any outside intervention will cause the parents to leave the nest, and the chicks will die.

By mid-June, the chicks are ready to leave the nest. Parents still help young birds for several weeks. By the end of the summer, the pair may have a second brood. Only this time there will be significantly fewer eggs in the clutch.


Finches are forest birds that are looking for food for themselves and chicks on the ground. They are often victims of predators. Perhaps that is why they do not live long. Although in captivity, their life expectancy is up to twelve years.

They occur in nature very often, so do not belong to rare species or endangered. Finches do not pose a danger or value to a person and do not cause harm. That is why they can not be found in the Red Book. Although the Web contains many beautiful pictures of males with a bright color. This suggests that the bird is popular among bird watchers.

Dimensions and structure

Not only in size, but according to the constitution, the finch resembles a sparrow. The weight of an adult individual does not exceed 40 grams, and the length of the body is 14–16 cm. The long and sharp beak has a regular conical shape. Its upper part is slightly lowered to the tip. The nostrils are slightly covered with feathers. The finch wingspan can reach 28 cm. The tail is medium in size, with a notch in the middle. Weak-looking toes of the bird are armed with strong and sharp claws. The life of a chaffinch in natural conditions is approximately 12 years.

Male plumage color

The way a finch looks like deserves special attention. The older the bird, the brighter its plumage. Black forehead, neck bright blue, rolling in a red-brown, the same brick shade and breast. The brown back closer to the tail acquires a greenish color, and the lower part of the body has a contrasting white color. Those of the outermost feathers that are the smallest are of a beautiful dark blue color. Black wings with wide and narrow white stripes and yellow edging stand out very effectively. Lower tail tail feathers are pale-white, with black scales at the edges. Gray tail feathers, located in the middle, have a yellow border, all the others are black, covered on the inside with large white spots.

Around the light brown eyes - rings brown color. The beak of the male changes shade depending on the season. In the spring, during the mating season, it is bluish in color, and in winter it becomes completely brown.

Color plumage females

Adult females, unlike males, cannot boast such a bright plumage. It is very important for them to be less noticeable during the nestling period, therefore the color range of females is calmer and more restrained. The plumage of the upper part of the body has a dark brown color, the lower one is slightly lighter, without abrupt transitions. Head and nape greenish hue. Quite a bit different in color from an adult female Common Finch in the first weeks of its life. The feature of the plumage of the chick is only a small white spot on the back of the head.

origin of name

Where did this cheerful and brisk bird get such an interesting name? The Russian people very aptly gave names to various birds, noting the peculiarities of behavior peculiar to them. The common finch, being a migratory bird, sometimes remained to spend the winter in its native lands. Perhaps his lame look during the period of severe frosts evoked compassion from local residents, for which he gave him such a name. According to another version, the chaffinch was so named because of its peculiarity in the fall and spring to gather in flocks on the zyabi.

Distribution area

This bird can often be found in most of Europe, in North Africa and practically throughout the territory of Russia. In New Zealand, this is the most common passerine species.

Common finch lives in a wide variety of forest landscapes - broadleaf and coniferous. He prefers to settle in mature and cool forests, in shrubs, on forest edges, in birch groves and pine forests. The only exceptions are wet and swampy areas, as well as dark forest areas. Often it can be seen near the dwelling of people - in gardens, gardens, parks, in cemeteries. Some birds winter in Central Europe, others migrate to the Mediterranean and to the foothill forests of the Caucasus.

Chaffinch singing

In old times, such an ordinary finch was in great honor: its singing was valued very highly and paid a lot of money for the bird. In captivity, birds can start singing as early as January. In natural habitat, songs sound from spring to mid-summer. Already in July the chaffinch can be heard less and less.

The voice of this little bird sounds like a ringing rolling trill. It is preceded by a thin whistle. Usually a song consists of one or two knees, which are persistently repeated one after another and end with a kind of “stroke” - a short sharp note. Lovers can accurately distinguish these tribes, giving them specific names. The duration of one song lasts about three seconds, followed by a short pause and everything repeats. Chaffinch, using sounds, is capable of transmitting various signals, signifying anxiety, courtship, aggression, etc. In his own language, he can give a signal to take off or express fear.

Ordinary ornamental finch today is much less common in urban apartments than before.

Behavior features

Birds live in pairs, trying to settle close to each other, at the same time very jealously guarding their territory from their neighbors. After the nesting period, when the chicks grow up, finches gather in large flocks, connecting with other members of the finch family, and disappear from our area for the winter period. Only some males remain to winter.

The common finch, a description of the appearance of which is given above, is a very energetic bird, dexterous, intelligent, and unusually agile. Almost all the light of day it is in continuous motion, only in the afternoon heat hiding in the branches of trees. The chaffinch moves along the branches a little sideways, but it jumps along the ground or runs rather quickly. Its flight resembles wavy lines, while it flies long distances at a considerable height. Before sitting down, the finch hovers for some time above the ground.

As with all members of the finch family, insects are the main food of the chaffinch. During the breeding season, from May to July, the feed consists of 100% of them. The food is dominated by small bugs, butterflies, various dipterous insects, including those that cause great harm to agricultural plants. Sometimes the finch eats and plant products - weed seeds, fruits, berries, etc.


In the northern regions, finches appear in mid-April, in the central - almost a month earlier. A little accustomed, the pair of finches proceeds to build a nest. It is located most often in the crown of a deciduous tree, at the base of one of the side branches. Birds so skillfully mask the nest that it is almost impossible to see it from the ground. For the construction used small twigs, grass, moss. The walls of the nest outside are covered with pieces of bark, lichen. The bottom is covered with feathers and wool. All construction material is fastened with the help of web threads. In laying, there are usually 4 to 7 bluish-green eggs covered with pink spots. The female incubates them for two weeks, occasionally flying out of the nest only to warm up or find food. The male feeds her infrequently, more carried away by singing or quarreling with neighbors who have flown to his site. In one season, an ordinary chaffinch (a photo and a detailed description of how these birds look are given in this article) can make two clutches. The second lasts from June to August.

How do chickens look like

The chicks that came into the world are much more fluffy than their many songbirds. Their body is almost completely covered with a long gray fuzz, only minor portions of it remain bare. The fluffs located on the head of the babies stick out to the sides in a very amusing way, resembling a hat.

After about two weeks, the chicks fledge, while not much different in color from the mother, and begin their first flight from the nest. Both parents are usually engaged in feeding their offspring. As food, an ordinary finch brings mainly different insects to chicks, most of which are caterpillars.

The content of a chaffinch in captivity

In the old days, these birds were caged quite often, and they were very expensive. At the same time, a finch caught in captivity for a long time gets used to the new situation and does not begin to sing immediately. Surprisingly, in captivity birds have a much longer lifespan than in nature. Despite this, they are not very suitable for maintenance in an apartment and in extremely rare cases get used to the person.

The decorative chaffinch, the photo of which is placed below, is capable of issuing its ringing trills only as long as the person next to it is motionless. It is necessary to move a little, as the singer begins to rush on the cage walls, hitting the bars and risking breaking. Therefore, in order for the birds not to cure themselves, the finches contain one at a time, be sure to veil the cage with a linen covering.

Часто зяблик, просыпаясь по ночам, начинает прыгать по жердочкам, но не видя в темноте, натыкается на стенки. Замечено, что такое поведение свойственно этим затворникам, когда наступает у перелетных птиц период миграции. Чтобы избежать ночного беспокойства, рекомендуется на ночь включать небольшой светильник, позволяющий птице видеть жердочки и прутья.

Немало проблем возникает и с рационом питания зябликов, содержащихся в неволе. In addition, they are often obese and eye diseases. For these reasons, the number of people willing to listen to the singing of chaffinches kept in captivity has decreased significantly.

What does a finch bird look like

Like most birds, sexual dimorphism is pronounced in finches. Males have a rather bright color, bright orange breast and black-brown back with a greenish nadhvost. On their head they seem to be wearing a bluish-gray cap.

The wings, ranging in size from 24 to 29 cm, are dark brown in color with white spots. Females have dimmer plumage color. Weight usually does not exceed 20-50 g.

This is a small bird, body length reaches only 14-15 cm


Mostly distributed in the European part of Russia, in North Africa, Europe, Western Asia. These birds can be found in forests: in forests, countryside, in parks. But unlike his relative, the sparrow is rarely found in the city.

This is a migratory bird. With the onset of cold weather, around mid-September, they fly away to winter to the south. Some of them have adapted to live throughout the year in one place.

They fly over to the Mediterranean, to the south of Kazakhstan and Central Asia, some of them overwinter in the mountains and foothill forests of Ciscaucasia. After waiting the cold, they return to their former habitats, usually at the end of March and at the beginning of April.

Lifestyle and nutrition

These birds live in small flocks, about 40-60 individuals. Because of their small size, they are quite nimble and fly fast. Moving on the ground like birds jump.

These birds have a strong and small beak, this is due to the type of food. They mainly feed on small insects: various beetles, caterpillars, worms, butterflies. In the summer, they can eat food of plant origin, for example, a variety of seeds, berries and fruits.


Finches have a beautiful voice. Their singing is like a trill of a lark. The songs themselves are quite loud and ringing, lasting about 3-4 seconds after a pause and repetition of the song. The singing of adult males can be divided into 3 parts - a singing, a trill and a stroke (this is a short, sharp sound).

Young males perform more simple "compositions" in which there are no these 3 parts. The formation of complex songs begins during puberty, the younger generation learn to copy singing from adults, more experienced males. One finch can play up to 6 different songs.

Life in captivity

Because of such beautiful singing, this species was very much loved to keep in their houses. And how strange it is, he is not whimsical, and can live in captivity much longer, about 9-12 years, while in the wild just a couple of years.


Immediately after arrival, brightly colored finch males begin to search for a convenient nesting site. Later the female joins the male. Finches prefer dense thickets, but these birds are unpretentious to the place of residence, so they settle in any forests, avoiding perhaps deaf places. The finch nest is usually only 120 m 2. In winter, finches are kept in flocks and move to open spaces - meadows and fields. Often they create joint flocks with sparrows or other finch species, mainly with their closest relative, the finch.


It is time nesting finches begin in March - April. Males, at this time having returned from wintering, begin to look for a convenient site. They loudly sing their territory and attract females to it. Having accepted the invitation of the male, the female begins to look for a place suitable for building a nest. Chaffinch nest can be located in various places - in dense bushes, hedges or on a tree, usually near the trunk or in a fork of the branches. The female builds the nest, and the male helps her, bringing construction material. The bowl-shaped nest of the chaffinch is carefully woven from moss, grass and thin twigs fastened with cobwebs and hairs. Outside, the nest is covered with lichens, birch bark and clumps of plant fluff, so it is almost impossible to notice it against the background of tree bark. The female lays from 4 to 6 bluish-green eggs and incubates them for 11-13 days.

Newborn chicks of chaffinch are covered with down. They are completely dependent on the parents. Parents feed juveniles together. They bring insects to babies and put them directly in the open beak of the chicks.


The finch chicks study their song by imitating the singing of adult males. So they become the performers of the "dialect" characteristic of a particular region. This singing is very important for young males when they first mark the boundaries of their plot. Melody varies depending on the place of residence. Chaffinch song ringing, playful, with a characteristic "stroke" at the end.


Chaffinch is the most common bird in European forests. Chaffinch males are among the most brightly colored birds in Europe. They are easily recognizable by the blue-gray crown, chestnut brown chestnut chestnut back and dark green tail base. Unlike the males, female finches are not so bright. Their body is covered with brown feathers, on the wings and tail they have white stripes.


  • During the construction of the nest, the female chaffinch flies down about 1,300 times for the building material and returns with it to the nest. The nest is located at a height of 2-4 m from the ground.
  • Finches belong to the family of finches. Only three species of this family feed their chicks exclusively by insects, i.e. protein feed.


Female: for about 18 days is occupied by the construction of a cup-shaped nest and the incubation of eggs.

Male: protects the plot when the female incubates the eggs. He drives away potential rivals.

Wings: a white strip on the wings helps to distinguish the chaffinch from other finch.

- Habitat habitat


Europe, Asia, North Africa, the island of Madera, the Azores and the Canary Islands - finch lives in all these places. Finches from the northern and eastern regions of the range are migratory birds and winter in the south - in Central and Southern Europe and the Middle East.


Finches are numerous throughout Europe, so the disappearance does not threaten them.

Birds Voices - Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs). Video (00:00:52)

Chaffinch (lat. Fringilla coelebs) is a songbird of the family of finch.
Sparrow-sized (about 17 cm long). The color of the plumage of the male is bright (especially in spring): the head is bluish-gray, the back is brownish with green, the goiter and chest are brownish-red, large white spots on the wings, the color of the female is dimmer. Distributed in Europe, West Asia and North Africa, settled in the East. One of the most numerous birds in Russia. Dwells in forests and parks of all types, often at the very shelter of man. Nests whitens in trees, masking them with moss and lichen. Sometimes nest twice a summer. In laying 3-6 bluish with speckled eggs. It feeds on seeds and green parts of plants, in summer it also feeds on insects and other invertebrates, which feeds young birds.

Usually, the finch's species song is represented by a trill, ending with a stroke (short, sharp sound) at the end. The trills precede the initial, more subtle whistling sounds. Therefore, the chaffinch song can be divided into three consecutive parts - singing, trilling, flourish. Such a structure of the song is characteristic of all adult males (female chaffinch is usually not vocally realized). The whole song usually lasts about 2-3 seconds, after a pause (7-10 seconds) the song repeats itself again. Young males of the chaffinch (first year) have a simplified, uniform in structure, specific song (sub song), in which the three described parts are not distinguished. A similar sub-song throughout life may be present in female chaffinch. It is assumed that the development of a normal species song in males occurs under the influence of testosterone (sex hormone). The normal (complex, differentiated) structure of a specific song is acquired by young males (after becoming on the wing) as a result of training - copying a song of older males of its own kind, as well as “mutual learning” of one-year-old males - roll call. Songs can be changed (song improvisation), and different versions (types) of a specific song are created that are well distinguished when viewed on a sonogram. The repertoire of one finch can include 1-6 (10) versions of the song, performed alternately. Usually, males sing only about 2-3 types of songs in a group; in the population, you can find on average 20 types of specific song. Similar vocal variability is observed in many species of passerines. Because of the sonorous song finches are often kept in captivity.