Common chaffinch

Fringilla coelebs

Common chaffinch, photo: Jan W Ahlfors

The characteristic features of common chaffinches (both male and female birds) are the distinctive white edge on the wings and their white sides of the tail. The male bird has a bluish top of the head, a deep-brown back, and a blood-red breast. The female bird’s plumage is more dull-coloured: their back is olive-grey and the bottom part of their body is light grey. The female bird selects the location for the nest and builds it alone. The male bird mostly guards and protects the territory. The hemispheric thick-walled nest is mainly built of moss and lichen. Their eggs can be bluish or pinkish. The chicks leave the nest when they are two weeks old and keep near the nest for a while – until their parents still feed them. They mainly feed on insects; in the winter, they can also be seen looking for seeds with other finches. They are probably the most numerous songbird in Estonia. Quickly adapts to people and can become very bold. They mostly live in trees; but also, on the ground, where they move by quickly jumping around or simply walking. Their fast-paced song is rather loud and well-known among Estonians.