The Second Ladybird Book of British Birds #3 – The Chaffinch

Here’s The Chaffinch from the Ladybird book of British Birds and their nests. It’s the third edition from 1955, written by Brian Vesey-Fitzgerald and illustrated by Allen W Seaby:

The Second Ladybird Book of British Birds - Chaffinch

The text says:

It is a very common bird in England and is as much at home in London as in the open country.

Maybe that’s still true over 60 years later. The RSPB’s website says there are 6,200,000 breeding territories in the UK. I’m not sure about the London bit though.

The Chaffinch eats seeds, insects, buds and berries

It’s exhausting being so brightly coloured. It takes a lot of energy to create the complex chemistry of brightly coloured feathers. You need to have a rich diet:

The high cost of being bright

I first saw a Chaffinch over forty years ago and noted it in my nature notebooks:

Chaffinch - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Forty years later I still adore seeing them do exactly the same thing.

Chaffinch – forty years ago in my nature notebooks

In Chaffinches, the sexes migrate separately:

Chaffinch – surrounded by single Swedish females

The males and females have separate winter holidays.

I look forward to the next time I hear

a lovely rollicking song.

Their call is quite distinctive:

The Chaffinch… is the bird that calls “Pink, pink” almost all day long in the spring

Pink“? Most people say it sounds like “Finc“. And that’s probably why the Old English name is Finch.

Here’s Mr Pink.

Chaffinch - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

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