Chaffinch male

©Bob Coyle

Chaffinch female

©Mark Hamblin/2020VISION


Scientific name: Fringilla coelebs
The colourful and delightful chaffinch is a regular garden visitor across the UK. Look out for it hopping about on the ground under birdtables and hedges.

Species information


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

Conservation status

Common. Classified in the UK as Green under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2021). Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

When to see

January to December


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 more than 6 million pairs breed here in summer. They have a loud, pleasant song.

How to identify

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.



Did you know?

The chaffinch is also known as the 'Bachelor Finch': the males spend the winter near to their breeding territories, while the females migrate further south.

How people can help

Whether you live in town or country, you can help to look after garden birds by providing food and water for them.