Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

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

2018 Photo Comp opens for entries

Date posted: 27-Nov-2017

The 2018 Photo Competition is now open for entries. Click here (/2018-photo-competition-tiritiri-mat..

New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..

2017 Photo Competition

Date posted: 22-Mar-2017

It is that time of year again when we are looking for entries for our photo competition (and phot..

The 2017 concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2017

This year's concert promises to be another wonderful and unique experience. Click here (/concert-..

Shorebird Film Festival at Devonport

Date posted: 26-Oct-2016

Click here (/miscellaneous documents/DevWaderFilms.jpg) for details of a forthcoming film festival c..


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.