Common Chaffinch (Fringila coelebs)

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The Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), also called by a wide variety of other names, is a small passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae.

The Common Chaffinch’s large double white wing bars, white tail edges and greenish rump easily identify this 14–16 cm long species. The breeding male is unmistakable, with his reddish underparts and a blue-grey cap. The female is drabber and greener, but still obvious.

It uses a range of habitats, but open woodland is favoured, although it is common in gardens and on farmland.

Many subspecies of the Common Chaffinch have been described, though not all are always concurrently accepted.They include:

Subspecies occurring in continental Eurasia, North Africa and on Mediterranean islands:

  • F. c. africana J. Levaillant, 1850 – north-west Africa, from Morocco to western Tunisia
  • F. c. alexandrovi Zarudny, 1916 – southern Caspian region, from the Talysh to the Alborz Ranges
  • F. c. balearica Von Jordans, 1923 – Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands
  • F. c. caucasica Serebrovski, 1925 – Caucasus
  • F. c. coelebs Linnaeus, 1758 – Eurasia, from western Europe and Asia Minor to Siberia
  • F. c. gengleri O. Kleinschmidt, 1909 – British Isles
  • F. c. sarda Rapine, 1925 – Sardinia
  • F. c. schiebeli Erwin Stresemann, 1925 – Crete
  • F. c. solomkoi Menzbier & Sushkin, 1913 – Crimean Peninsula
  • F. c. spodiogenys Bonaparte, 1841 – eastern Tunisia
  • F. c. syriaca J. M. Harrison, 1945 – Cyprus and the Levant
  • F. c. transcaspia Zarudny, 1916 – Turkmenian – Khorasan ranges (from the Kopet-Dag in the north to the Khaidari Mountains in the south)
  • F. c. tyrrhenica Schiebel, 1910 – Corsica

photo: Mihai BACIU


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