Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018


Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..


Scientific name:

 Fringilla coelebs



Conservation status:  Introduced and naturalised

Mainland status:

Widespread and abundant

Size:  15cm, 22g (male) 21g (female)


 9+ years


 September – February


 Seeds, invertebrates and fruit

Chaffinch - Photography by: Dr Kerry RodgersIntroduced from Europe between 1862 and 1880 and now abundant throughout New Zealand in both native and exotic forest, scrub, farmland, tussockland, parks and gardens.

An attractive finch with conspicuous white shoulder, wingbar and outer tail feathers. The adult male has a black forehead, blue-grey crown and nape, a rich pinkish-brown face and underparts fading to white on the belly and a reddish brown back and olive rump. The female is soft brownish grey, with a greenish rump and prominent white wingbars on a darker wing. The common call note is a metallic 'chink' and the male’s song is a bright 'chip, chip, chip tell, tell, tell cherry-erry-erry tissi cheweeo'. The song varies in different regions.

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. 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 about three weeks.

Find out more about the chaffinch at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography (male chaffinch) by: Dr Kerry Rodgers ©

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking. Moon, G The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Birds.