Chaffinch, Pahirini

Fringilla coelebs
Bird Songs
chaffinch v3


New Zealand status: Introduced

Conservation status: Introduced and Naturalised

Chaffinches are the most common and widespread of New Zealand’s introduced finches. They are found in a wide range of habitats, from sea-level to alpine, and frequently visit suburban gardens. The chaffinch call is a familiar ‘chink chink’.

Male chaffinches are similar in size to a house sparrow, with the females being a little smaller. Males are brightly coloured in spring and summer with brick-red breasts and chestnut mantles. The crown and nape are greyish-blue and the wings are black with a prominent white wing-bar and shoulder patch. During winter, the colours are duller. Females are dull brownish-grey, but with similar wing markings as the males. Both sexes have white in the outer tail-feathers which is conspicuous in flight.

Find out more about chaffinches

Male chafffinch. Credit: Oscar Thomas. Female chaffinch. Credit: Oscar Thomas.