Behaviour & Diet
Chaffinches are peculiar birds, and have been subject to much scientific research relating to their voices. In one study involving a number of U.S. scientists, it was found that Chaffinch voices became less predictable the further they moved. This, it has been proposed, is most likely to do with less competition in more remote areas, especially islands.
Read more about how Chaffinch voices differ
Back home in the UK, you’ll notice Chaffinches prefer the cover of hedges, or under bird tables, where they will most likely feed. They are quite shy of nature and will not generally feed openly on bird feeders. It’s common to hear Chaffinches before seeing them, as their prominent, loud and varied calls are noticed before they are directly observed.
As UK-wide, all-year-round birds, they are resident throughout all seasons and can be seen and heard in woodland areas, among hedgerows and in parks and gardens. Their main diet is comprised of insects and seeds – bird seed mixes, mealworms and suet are great starting points for feeding Chaffinches in your garden.
Breeding generally begins in April, with each clutch consisting of between two to eight eggs with an incubation period of roughly ten to sixteen days, and then a fledge period of eleven days.