More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island h..

Results of the 2019 Photo Competition

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

The results of this year's competition have now been decided. Click here (/2019-photo-co..

Lighthouse Open Day

Date posted: 30-Apr-2019

Our historic lighthouse, signal station and diaphonic foghorn will all be on dis..

We need a new Treasurer

Date posted: 08-Apr-2019

The Supporters need a new treasurer to take over in September when Kevin Vaughan..

2019 Concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2019

OrigiNZ, the tartan taonga are returning for the 2019 concert. Click..

Tiri's three unique foghorns

Date posted: 01-Feb-2019

Our next social event will take place on Monday 18th March when Carl Hayson and ..

Young Conservation Superstars win awards!

Date posted: 27-Jan-2019

Gabriel Barbosa and teacher Kate Asher, a team leader who co..

Entries for the 2019 photo competition

Date posted: 19-Jan-2019

We are now taking entries for the 2019 photographic competition. You can enter u..

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..

Chaffinch

Scientific name:

 Fringilla coelebs

 

 

Conservation status:  Introduced and naturalised

Mainland status:

Widespread and abundant

Size:  15cm, 22g (male) 21g (female)

Lifespan:

 9+ years

Breeding:

 September – February

Diet:

 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.