Baby finches feeding

How to Care for House Finch Babies

By Nadelee Biondi | Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Cage or box

  • Flannel or fleece fabric

  • Paper towels

  • Heat lamp or heating pad

  • Thermometer

  • Pre-made baby finch food

  • Pedialyte

  • Eye dropper or medication syringe

  • Bugs (crickets or mealworms)

  • Nest (can be a commercial finch nest)

  • Food and water bowls that attach to the cage bars

House finches are active but nervous birds. Their antics are fun to watch; however, unlike a parrot that can be held, a finch is not the right bird to have if the owner wants one that's loveable and playful. Finches don't enjoy cuddling -- although they're playful among themselves -- and holding them causes these birds stress. They make nests in pockets placed in the cage, and this is where finches will raise their young. Occasionally, when a parent dies or is unable to care for the baby, human intervention is needed. Though the babies are fragile, it is possible to raise them by hand until they can be introduced to other finches.

Find a box or cage that will protect the baby finch and give easy access to feed and care for it. Ensure the baby cannot escape before it's old enough to be placed in a cage with older finches.

Make a nest in the corner of the cage or box. It can be made of fleece or flannel fabric, and should have sides high enough so the baby cannot roll out of it. Cover the area for the baby finch with a folded paper towel.

Place the cage with the baby finch where the heat can be regulated. The baby must not get too hot or too cold. The temperature should be regulated between 88 and 92 degrees F. A heat lamp above the cage works well, as does a heating pad under it.

Put a thermometer in the cage between the nest and the wall of the cage. It will need to be continuously watched and the heat adjusted, until a steady temperature is finally achieved.

Purchase a ready-made seed mixture from a pet-supply or feed-supply store and a bottle of Pedialyte.

Set up a schedule for feeding the baby finch around the clock at timed intervals. Watch the crop in the baby's neck, as this tells when the baby's hungry; if it is flat, or puffed out, the baby finch is hungry and needs to be fed.

Mix the ready-made seed with the Pedialyte so that it's watery.

Feed the baby finch by filling an eyedropper with the ready-made seed mix. A syringe used to give human babies medicine will also work. Give the baby a little at a time, allowing the baby to take the food at its own pace. Baby finches do not breathe when they are feeding. Feed the baby small amounts at a time, allowing it to breathe in between. Do not overfeed the baby, as this could cause death.

Change the paper towel in the baby finch's nest before placing the baby back in it. The baby will probably fall fast asleep.

Mash up small bugs, occasionally mixing them with the seed mixture and sufficient quantities of water after the first two weeks of just feeding the seed mixture. Keep feeding the baby finch at regular intervals. Bugs provide perfect protein to keep the growing bird healthy. It's also okay at this point to start giving the baby water, small drops at a time, separate from the food -- although it's also okay to continue with Pedialyte.

Replace the homemade bird nest in the box with an actual finch nest, purchased from a pet store, in a cage. The baby finch is strong enough at this stage when it can stick its head out of the nest to let the caregiver know it's hungry. No matter what kind of directions a person is given for raising a baby bird, however, the chances of it surviving are slim if it is newly hatched. Remember though that even if it does not survive, it was held by your loving hands that tried.

Provide crushed birdseed in a bowl that attaches to the inside of the cage, along with a water container. At three weeks, the baby is large and agile enough to jump from the opening of the nest to the bowls and is now actively feeding and watering itself. It's okay to leave the baby in this cage for its lifetime.

Put the baby finch at five weeks of age into a cage with other finches. It is now old enough to be accepted and not picked on by the others. Keep its cage as it was for the time being, in case there are problems and it needs to be moved back into its first cage. It's okay to introduce another finch to the baby in the baby's cage as well.

  • Keep the baby finch's bedding clean at all times, replacing the paper towel as often as needed. Keep sudden noises to a minimum, as baby birds startle easily. Keep the cage and the baby in an area not accessible by children or other pets.


  • Do not overheat or underheat the baby finch, and do not force or over feed it -- as all of these conditions can cause the death of the baby finch.


  • Caring for Baby Finches
  • What do You Feed a Baby Bird: Doug Brinlee
  • Birds n Ways: How to Handfeed Finches: Kristine Spencer
  • Bird Guys: How to Care for Finches
  • Animal-World: All About Finches
  • Beautiful Song Birds: Guide to Finch Care

Photo Credits

Writer Bio

Nadelee Biondi has been writing professionally since 2004. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she began contributing to "Sunset" and "Better Homes and Gardens." Biondi is also pursuing a Master of Arts in English literature.

Wild Baby Finch Diet | Pets on

By Victoria Marinucci | Updated September 26, 2017

North America serves as home for more than 20 species of finches. These small songbirds inhabit cities, woods, mountains and deserts. With such a large finch population throughout the country, you may have a nest of wild baby finches near your house or wild finch fledglings visiting your bird feeder. You can positively impact a wild baby finch's health by understanding her diet and providing nutritious food at your feeder.

Hatching and Nestling Diet

Much like a human baby, a wild baby finch requires a certain diet of foods and frequent feedings from his parents in order to stay healthy. The first week of a finch's life is the hatching stage, and it is followed by the nestling stage, which can last two weeks. During both stages, it is crucial that his mother keeps him warm and nourished by feeding him at 1 1/2- to 20-minute intervals, according to an article published in "The Condor." Finches generally feed their babies a variety of regurgitated seeds, such as the sunflower seeds and dandelion seeds that house finches mainly feed their young. Brambling and American goldfinch feed their babies small insects, including aphids and gnats; the diet of those finches consists mainly of insects.

Fledgling Diet

Two to four weeks after hatching, the wild baby finch becomes a fledgling. During this stage, the finch's wing muscles have developed and her flight feathers have grown in. The wild baby finch ventures from the nest, though she is still dependent on her mother and father for care. She still relies on her parents to bring the seeds and insects she received in the nest. The fledgling period lasts one to two weeks.

Juvenile Diet

After the fledgling period, the baby finch graduates to the juvenile stage and begins eating on his own. He gradually learns to eat an adult diet. Though his diet still contains seeds and insects, it also includes plants, such as thistles and nettles that adult goldfinches eat and wild berries and nectar that mature house finches eat. He will remain a juvenile until he becomes a fully fledged adult at 3 to 4 months old.

Bird Feeder Food

Even though a wild baby finch should not be directly handled or fed, you can help her diet by attracting finch parents and fledglings to your bird feeder. Because the parents and their babies eat seeds and insects, you can place wild bird seed containing whole sunflower seeds, sunflower kernels and millet as well as insects such as meal worms or wax worms in your bird feeder. Wild bird seed is available at pet stores, garden stores and most supermarkets, and pet stores sell insects. You also can offer unconventional food such as breads, most fruits and suet. Changing bird seed frequently ensures the food is fresh. Damp or old food may cause illness in birds.


If you find an orphaned wild baby finch, you should not care for or feed him, but you can help him. The first task to establish whether the finch is a fledgling or a nestling. "In order to determine whether the bird is a nestling or a fledgling allow the baby bird to perch on your finger. If it is able to grip your finger firmly than it is a fledgling," states the website Wild Bird Watching. If he is a fledgling, he should be left alone. His parents will continue to feed him as he learns to fly. A nestling, however, should be returned to his nest. If you cannot find the nest, your area's wildlife rehabilitator can properly care for the wild baby finch.


Some foods are dangerous to a baby and an adult finch's health. Among the foods to avoid are those containing caffeine, including coffee beans and chocolate. A finch cannot metabolize caffeine, resulting in dehydration and seizures. Also, vegetable oils can destroy feathers' insulating qualities needed for warmth. Lastly, stale and moldy food, which can cause respiratory infections, should be avoided.


  • Wild Bird Watching: Baby Birds--Should I Help?
  • "The Auk;" A Study of the House Finch; W.H. Bergtold, M.D.; January 1913
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment: American Goldfinch (Carduelis Tristis)
  • RSPB, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds: What Food To Provide--Bird Seed Mixtures
  • "The Condor;" Observations On Nesting Behavior Of The House Finch; Fred G. Evenden; March-April 1957

Photo Credits

Writer Bio

Victoria Marinucci has been writing since 2002. Her articles have appeared in Pennsylvania newspapers as the "Bucks County Courier Times," and "The Intelligencer." She has also had numerous articles published on the news site, phillyBurbs. Marinucci earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Penn State University.

Common finch

"Finch" redirects here. For other types of finches, see Finch (disambiguation).

Male New Zealand finch, not native to New Zealand, found worldwide.

The common chaffinch or simply chaffinch ( Fringilla coelebs ) is a common and widespread small passerine bird in the chaffinch family. The male is brightly colored with a grey-blue cap and rusty red underparts. The female has a duller coloration, but both sexes have two contrasting white wing bands and white sides of the tail. The male has a strong voice and sings from open perches to attract a mate.

Chaffinch breeds in most of Europe, throughout the Palearctic to Siberia and northwest Africa. The female builds a nest with a deep cup in a fork in a tree. The grab is usually four or five eggs that hatch in about 13 days. Chicks fledge in about 14 days, but both adults feed for several weeks after leaving the nest. Outside of the breeding season, finches gather flocks in open areas and collect seeds on the ground. During the breeding season, they forage in the trees with invertebrates, especially caterpillars, and feed them to their young. They are partial migrants; birds nesting in warmer regions are sedentary, while birds nesting in the colder northern areas of their range winter further south.

Finch eggs and chicks are taken by various mammalian and bird predators. Its large numbers and huge range mean that finches are classified as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


  • 1 taxonomy
    • 1.1 subspecies
  • 2 Description
    • 2.1 Voice
  • 3 Propement
  • 4 behavior
    • 4.1 Breeding0026
    • 4.2 Feeding
  • 5 Predators and parasites
  • 6 Cases
  • 7 Relations to people
  • 8 Gallery
  • 9 Recommendations
  • 11 Further reading
  • 12 Office 9002

    The common finch was described by a Swedish naturalist. Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in the 10th edition of his Systema Naturae under his current binomial name. [2] Fringilla is the Latin word for finch and Caelebs means single or single. Linnaeus noticed that during the winter in Sweden, only the females migrated south through Belgium to Italy. [2] [3]

    The English name comes from Old English Ceaffinc , where Ceaf is "chaff" and Finc "finch". [4] Finches probably got this name because, after farmers have threshed their crops, these birds sometimes spend weeks going through a pile of discarded straw in search of grain. The finch is one of many birds depicted in the margins of a 15th-century English illuminated manuscript. Sherborne Missal. [5] [6] The English naturalist William Turner described the common finch in his book on birds published in 1544. Although the text is in Latin, Turner gives the English name for finch and lists two vernacular names: sheldappel and spink. [7] The word has been removed is a dialect word meaning variegated or colorful (as in Shelduck). [8] Appel may be related to Alp , an obsolete word for bullfinch. [9] [10] The name splash probably comes from the voice note of the bird. The names "back" and "shell" are among the many vernacular names for the finch listed by the Reverend Charles Swenson in his book Provincial Names and Folk Traditions of British Birds (1885). [9]

    In Fringillidae, all seed eaters have thick conical beaks. They have a similar skull morphology, nine large primaries, 12 tail feathers and no trim. In all species, the female builds a nest, incubates the eggs, and breeds. Finches are divided into two subfamilies: the Carduelinae containing about 28 genera with 141 species and the Fringillinae containing one genus, Fringilla , with four species: common finch ( F. coelebs ), Gran Canaria blue finch ( F. polatzeki ), Tenerife blue finch ( F. teidea ), and brambling ( F.02ringilla ). Fringilline finches rear their young almost entirely on arthropods, while finches rear their young on regurgitated seeds. [11]


    Subspecies number of the common chaffinch have been described mainly on the basis of differences in the pattern and coloration of the plumage of adult males. Subspecies can be divided into three groups: " group "which occurs in Europe and Asia" spondiogenesis group "in North Africa and" canariensis group "in the Canary Islands. group " [13] or in the " spondiogenesis group". [12] Genetic studies show that members of the " group" and " spondiogenesis groups" are more closely related to each other than to members " canariensis group". [14] [15]

    Within the " spondiogenesis group", gradual clinal variation over a wide geographical range and extensive intergradation means that geographic boundaries and recognition of different subspecies vary by authorities. The International Ornithological Union lists 11 subspecies from this group, [16] while Peter Clement in Birds of the World lists seven and considers the features of subspecies Balearica (Majorca), Caucasian (southern Caucasus), Schiebeli (southern Greece, Crete and western Turkey), and Tyrrhenica (Corsica) fall into variation to assign subspecies. He also suggests that subspecies Aleksandrovi , sard , straw , and Siriyaka may represent variations of the nominated subspecies. [12]

    The authors of a 2009 molecular phylogenetic study of three subspecies recognized in the Canary Islands concluded that they differ sufficiently in both genotype and phenotype to be considered a separate species within genus Fringilla . They also proposed a revised distribution of subspecies on the islands, in which the birds on La Palma ( palms ) and El Hierro ( ombrioso ) are grouped into one subspecies, and the current canariensis subspecies is divided into two, with one subspecies found only on Gran -Canaria and the other on La Gomera and Tenerife. [17] The results of a study published in 2018 confirmed previous findings. Previously, the authors described the Gran Canaria variety as a subspecies and came up with a tripartite name Fringilla coelebs bakeri . [18]

    Celebration Group
    • Northern Iranian Zyablik ( F. P. Aleksandrovi ) Zarudny, 1916 - North Iran
    • Caucasian ( f. ) Serebrovsky, 1925 - Balkans and northern Greece to northern Turkey, central and eastern Caucasus and northwestern Iran
    • European finch ( F. c. tseleby ) Linnaeus, 1758 (assign subspecies) - Eurasia, from western Europe and Asia Minor to Siberia
    • Iberian finish ( F. B. Balearica ) von Yordans, 1923 Pyrenee Peninsula and Balearian Islands
    • British finch ( F. C. Gengleri ) O. Kleinshmidt, 1909 - 1909 - 1909 - 1909 - 1909 - 1909 - 1909 - 1909 - 1909 - 1909
    • Sardinian chaffinch ( F. c. sarda ) Rapin, 1925 - Sardinia
    • Cretan chaffinch ( F. c. Schiebeli ) Erwin Stresemann0023 Crimean chaffinch ( F. c. straw ) Menzbier & Sushkin, 1913 - Crimean Peninsula and Southwestern Caucasus
    • Levantine chaffinch ( F. c. Syriaka M. ) Harrisson, 1945 - Cyprus, southeastern Turkey to northern Iran and Jordan
    • Northeastern Iranian finch ( F. c. Transcaspia ) Zarudny, 1916 - northeastern Iran and southwestern Turkmenistan
    • Corsican finch ( F. p. Tyrrhenica ) Schiber, 1910 - Corsica
    Spondiogenesis Group
    • Atlas Zyblik ( f. The West of Tunisia, North-East Libya
    • Tunisian finch ( F. S. Spodiogenys ) Bonaparte, 1841-East Tunisia and North-West Libya
    Canariensis Group
      220007 Tenerife chaffinch ( F. c. canariensis ) Vieillot, 1817 - central Canary Islands (La Gomera and Tenerife )
    • Gran Canaria chaffinch ( F. c. canariensis ) Illera et al. bakery 2018 - Central Canary Islands (Grand Canarius)
    • Maderansky finish ( F. C. Maderensis ) Sharp, 1888 - Madeira
    • Azores Konablik ( F. C. C. Mereletti ) Pucheran, 1859 - Azores
    • El Hierro finch ( F. c. ombriosa ) Hartert, 1913 - El Hierro, Canary Islands
    • La Palma finch ( F. c. palms ) Tristram, 18


    Male F. c. Africa in Morocco

    Common chaffinch about 14.5 cm (5.7 in) long, with a wingspan of 24.5–28.5 cm (9.6–11.2 in) and weighing 18–29 g ( 0.63-1.02 oz.). [13] Adult male of the nominate subspecies has a black forehead and blue-grey crown, nape and upper mantle. The groats are light olive green; the lower mantle and shoulder blades form a brown saddle. The sides of the head, throat and chest are dull. rusty red fading to a pale creamy pink on the belly. The central pair of tail feathers are dark gray with a black vein on the shaft. The rest of the tail is black except for the two outer feathers with white wedges. [19] Each wing has a contrasting white panel on the coverts and a white stripe on the secondary and inner primaries. [13] The flight feathers are black with white on the basal parts of the shoulder blades. The secondary and inner primaries have a pale yellow border on the outer web, while the outer primaries have a white outer edge. [19]

    After the autumn molt, the tips of the new feathers have a fringe-colored fringe that gives a brown tint to the colored plumage. The tips of the feathers wear off over the winter, so that by the spring breeding season, the brighter colors underneath appear. [19] [20] The eyes are dark brown irises and the legs are grey-brown. In winter the bill is pale gray and slightly darker on the upper ridge or culm, but in spring the bill becomes bluish gray with a slight black tip. [21]

    Male F. c. palm trees , La Palma, Canary Islands

    The British Isles male ( F. c. Gengleri ) is very similar to the nominal subspecies, but has a darker back and underparts. Males of two North African subspecies F.c. Africa and F. c. spodiogenys have a blue-gray crown and nape extending to the sides of the head and neck, a black forehead and background, a broken white eye ring, a bright olive green saddle, and a pink-yellow throat and chest. Males F. c. canariensis and F. c. palms in the Canary Islands have dark blue upperparts and no contrasting mantle. Male finches in Madeira ( F. c. maderensis ) and Azores ( F.c. Moreletti ) are superficially similar to F. c. canariensis but have a bright green mantle. [22]

    The adult female looks much duller than the male. The head and most of the upperparts are grey-brown. The bottom is paler. The lower back and rump are a dull olive color. The wings and tail are similar to those of the male. The juvenile looks like a female. [23]

    Male F. c. maderensis , Madeira


    Men usually sing two or three different types of songs and there are also regional dialects. [24] [25]

    The acquisition of song by young finches was the subject of an influential study by a British ethologist. William Thorp. Thorp determined that if a young finch does not hear the song of an adult male during a certain critical period after hatching, he will never learn the song properly. He also found that, in adult common finches, castration eliminates singing, but injection of testosterone causes such birds to sing even in November, when they are usually silent. [26] [27]

    Distribution and Habitat

    The finch breeds in wooded areas where the July isotherm is 12 to 30 °C (54 to 86 °F). [28] The breeding range includes northwestern Africa and most of Europe and extends east through temperate Asia into the Angara River and the southern end of Lake Baikal into Siberia. There are also a number of distinctive subspecies in the Azores, the Canary Islands and the Madeira Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. [12] The finch was introduced from Great Britain to some of its overseas territories in the second half of the 19th century. In New Zealand, the common finch colonized both the North and South Islands by 1900 and is now one of the most common and common passerine species. [29] [30] In South Africa a very small breeding colony in the suburbs of Constantia, Hout Bay, Pinelands and Camps Bay in Cape Town is the only remnant of another such introduction. [31]

    This bird is not migratory in the milder parts of its range, but leaves the colder regions in winter. Outside of the breeding season, it forms loose flocks, sometimes mixed with fights. It occasionally flies to the eastern regions of North America, although some of them may be fugitives.


    Eggs Fringilla coelebs moreletti


    Finches first breed at 1 year of age. They are mostly monogamous and are paired with resident subspecies such as Gengleri sometimes persists from year to year. [32] Breeding date depends on spring temperature and occurs earlier in the southwest of Europe and later in the northeast. In the UK, most clutches are laid from late April to mid-June. The male attracts the female to his territory through song. [33]

    Nests are built entirely by the female and are usually located in a fork in a bush or tree a few meters above the ground. [34] The nest has a deep cup and is lined with a layer of thin roots and feathers. It is covered on the outside with a layer of lichen and spider silk over an inner layer of moss and grass. The eggs are laid early in the morning at daily intervals until the clutch is complete. [35] The clutch usually consists of 4-5 eggs, smooth and slightly shiny, but very variable in color. They range from pale bluish green to light red with purplish brown blotches, spots, or steaks. The average egg size is 19 mm × 15 mm (0.75 in × 0.59 in) with a weight of 2.2 g (0.078 oz). The female incubates the eggs for 10–16 days. [34] Chicks are altricial, hatch almost naked with closed eyes and feed on both parents, but mainly on the female, who incubates them for about six days. [36] Caterpillars are fed mainly. The chicks fledge 11–18 days after hatching and disperse. Both parents then help the young birds feed for another three weeks. Parents very rarely start a second brood, but when they do, they are always in a new nest. [34] Juveniles undergo a partial molt at about five weeks of age, when they replace their head, body, and many other hidden feathers, but not their primary and secondary flight feathers. [21] After breeding, adult birds undergo a complete molt every year, which lasts about ten weeks. [21] [37]

    In a study conducted in the UK using ring repair data, juvenile survival in the first year of life was 53 percent and annual adult survival was 59 percent. [38] Based on these figures, the typical life span is only 3 years, [39] but the maximum recorded bird age in Switzerland is 15 years and 6 months. [40]


    Outside the breeding season, finches mainly eat seeds and other plant material they find on the ground. They often forage in large flocks in open areas. Common finches rarely take food directly from plants and very rarely use their feet to process food. [41] During the breeding season, their diet switches to invertebrates, especially defoliating caterpillars. They forage in trees and also sometimes make short forays to catch insects in the air. [41] Juveniles feed entirely on invertebrates, including caterpillars, aphids, earwigs, spiders and larvae (beetle larvae). [41]

    Predators and parasites

    Common finch eggs and chicks are preceded by crows, Eurasian red and eastern gray squirrels, domestic cats and probably also stoats and weasels. Clutches started later in the spring are less predated, which is believed to be due to the increased amount of vegetation making it difficult to find nests. [42] Unlike the closely related brambling, the common finch is not parasitized by the cuckoo. [43]

    The protozoan parasite Trichomonas gallinae has been known to infect pigeons and predators, but since the UK in 2005 the carcasses of dead European Greenfinches finches have been infected with the parasite. [44] The disease spread and infected corpses were found in Norway, Sweden and Finland in 2008, and in Germany a year later. The spread of the disease is thought to have been mediated by common finches, as a large number of birds breed in northern Europe and winter in the UK. [45] In the UK, the number of infected carcasses recovering each year has been declining since peaking in 2006. There was a decrease in European greenfinches, but there was no significant decrease in the total number of finches. [46] A similar picture was observed in Finland, where after the appearance of the disease in 2008, the number of European greenfinches decreased, but the number of finches changed only slightly. [47]

    Common finches can form tumors on the feet and legs caused by Fringilla coelebs papillomavirus. [48] [49] Papillomas vary in size from a small nodule on the toe to a large mass covering both the foot and the leg. The disease is rare: in a 1973 study in the Netherlands, out of approximately 25,000 finches tested, only 330 had papillomas. [48]


    The finch has an extensive range, estimated at 7 million square kilometers (3.7 million square miles), and a large population, including approximately 130–240 million breeding pairs in Europe. Including nesting birds in Asia, the total population is between 530 and 1400 million individuals. There is no evidence of a major overall decline, so the species is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as Least Concern. [50]

    The endemic subspecies of the Macaronesian Islands in the Atlantic are vulnerable to habitat loss, especially F. c. ombriosa on El Hierro in the Canary Islands, where the breeding population is between 1,000 and 5,000 pairs. [51]

    Relationships with people

    The common finch was once popular as a caged songbird, and a large number of wild birds were captured and sold. [52] At the end of the 19th century, the capture of birds in London parks even reduced the number of birds. [53] In 1882, the English publisher Samuel Orchart Beaton issued a guide to the care of caged birds and included the recommendation: "To parents and guardians suffering from a morose and surly boy, my advice is: buy him a finch." [52] Competitions were held in which bets were placed on which finch in a cage would repeat its song the most number of times. Birds were sometimes dazzled with a hot needle, believed to induce them to sing. [54] This practice is the subject of the poem. Blinded Bird by English author Thomas Hardy, which contrasts with the brutality involved in blinding birds with their spicy song. [55] In Great Britain, the practice of keeping finches as pets declined after the capture of wild birds was outlawed by the Wild Bird Protection Act 1880-1896. [55] [56]

    The finch is still a popular poultry in some European countries. In Belgium, the traditional sport of Winkensetting pits male common finches against each other in a competition for the most bird calls in an hour. 9 Dan, Bilefsky (May 21, 2007). "Belgian one ounce idols vying for the most tweets per hour." New York Times . New York Times Company. Retrieved August 15, 2013.

  • Retrieved

    • Seizure, Stanley, ed. (1994). " Fringilla coelebs Finch". Handbook of birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Birds of the Western Palaearctic, Volume 8: From Crows to Finches . Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 448–473. ISBN 978-0-19-854679-5 .
    • Newton, Jan (1972). Finches . The New Naturalist, Volume 55. London: Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-213065-3 .

    further reading

    • Lynch, A; Plunkett, G. M.; Baker, A. J.; Jenkins, P. F. (1989). "A Model of the Cultural Evolution of the Finch Song Based on the Concept of a Meme". American Naturalist . 133 (5): 634–653. Doi: 10.1086/284942. JSTOR 2462072. S2CID 84322859.
    • Marler, Peter (1956). "Behavior of the Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs ". Behavior. Additive . Appendix 5. Leiden (5): III - 184. JSTOR 30039131.

    external link

    • "Fringilla coelebs". Avibase .
    • Internet Bird Collection
    • Aging and Sexing (PDF; 3.6 MB) by Javier Blasko-Zumet and Gerd-Michael Heinze
    • Feathers of the Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)


      • 1 Morphology
      • 2 behavior
      • 3 Power
      • 4 votes
      • 5 Nesting
      • 6 Distribution and habitat
        • 6. 1 Distribution
        • 6.2 Habitat
        • 6.3 Travel
      • 7 threats
      • 8 Status
      • 9 Save
      • 10 systematic
        • 10.1 Taxonomy
        • 10.2 Phylogeny
      • 11 Notes and references
      • 12 See also
        • 12.1 Related Article
        • 12.2 External links
        • 12.3 Bibliography


      Female blue finch

      With a length of 16 to 18 cm, the blue finch is noticeably larger than the common tree finch. Thus, its beak, head and chest become thicker.

      As the name suggests, the male has blue plumage on the head and upper back. The throat, chest and sides are light grey. In the undertail, the helmsmen are white. His beak is black.

      The plumage of the female is often duller. The upper surface is gray-brown, the lower surface is gray-white.



      Feeds mainly on pine seeds and insects. Seeds are taken directly from open cones and from the ground. Insects are caught on the fly, in the bark of trees and on the ground. Pine needles and seeds of various plant species are sometimes eaten, such as forget-me-not ( Myosotis latifolia ), chickweed ( Stellaria media ), Adenocarpus viscosus and drupes thistles ( Rubus ). Juveniles mainly feed on invertebrates with their larvae.


      His song clearly resembles that of a tree finch, but less energetic.


      Egg Fringilla teydea teydea Muséum de Toulouse

      Nesting occurs in July, extremes observed at and . It breeds rather in the first half of June in alpine pine forests and in May on southern slopes. The nest is a cup of pine roots and needles mixed with moss, with an internal covering of feathers and horsehair. It builds on height from 2 to 14 m from young or tall pines, opposite the trunk or even at the end of a branch. Spawning consists of two eggs (greenish-blue with brown and reddish-brown dots), rarely only one, but never three. There is no usual second brood, but if unsuccessful, re-spawning may occur, especially at the start of nesting.

      Distribution and habitat


      This bird is endemic to the Canary Islands. It is found in Tenerife and Gran Canaria.


      The blue finch inhabits the pine forests ( Pinus canariensis ) of the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. It lives at altitude from 1200 to 2000 m in Tenerife and from 700 to 1200 m in Gran Canaria, rarely exceeding these marks. In Tenerife, among these pine forests, it is also found in heathers ( Erica arborea ) and laurels ( Laurus sp. ).

      Blue finches sometimes leave this habitat to feed over pine forests (2200 m ) or, more rarely (in bad weather) lower (500 m ), in gardens, orchards and other crops. But it has also adapted to another species of pine recently introduced by man: the radiant pine ( Pinus radiata ), whose plantations aim to expand degraded stands of Canarian pines. Martin et al. (1980) showed that in Tenerife the blue finch clearly prefers the broom undergrowth Chamaecytisus proliferus, as it harbors caterpillars widely used for feeding young stock.


      During the winter, small erratic groups (up to eight birds, mostly juveniles) can be observed, sometimes associated with groups of canary finches ( F. c. Tintillon ). At the height of summer, such groups were seen in flight in search of scarce water bodies.


      In the past century, two types of threats have loomed over this species: habitat destruction and human predation. The destruction of pine forests had serious consequences for the conservation of this species, but the clearing of undergrowth had even deeper and more insidious consequences. The local population was widely engaged in hunting, and this trade was so prosperous that in 19In the 00s, the inevitable extermination of this species was predicted. Here is an example of a hunter's record of killing 76 bluefinches in Gran Canaria and 122 in Tenerife during 1909. These actions sparked a storm of protest from ornithologists and ecologists of the day, who tried to educate the local population about the danger of extinction. Hunting was forbidden, and thus the first danger was averted. The blue finch was routinely caged in Tenerife until the end of 1956. In the 1960s, another threat was the artificial diversion of water from mountain springs, which could reduce the number of natural drinkers.

      These two threats are now better controlled, but hunting and illegal hunting are still common, in particular to supply the poultry market in Italy, Germany and Belgium. Added to this is the overuse of pesticides, habitat degradation, human disturbance, and water shortages in summer. This is why the installation of artificial drinkers by humans plays an important role in the survival of this species, especially in summer. Fires continue to pose a serious threat, as did the fires of 2007, which almost destroyed the forests of Gran Canaria, where subspecies 9 survives.0011 F.t. polatzeki . Tourism activity causes habitat encroachment and further disturbance, but still remains at a level compatible with flora and fauna.


      BirdLife International (2005) estimates 1800 to 2740 individuals in Tenerife and 185 to 260 in Gran Canaria with mention of "threatened soon" for all two populations. Bird Conservation Panel proposes finer status with 1500 birds in Tenerife with population peaks in some areas (2. 72 birds / 10 ha ) and only 150 to 200 individuals in Gran Canaria with low densities. (1 bird / 10 ha). The population of Tenerife is increasing due to the development of its habitat (pine plantations), but Gran Canaria, limited by two completely isolated territories, is experiencing a sharp decline, with an estimated 10% of the total population being lost annually. According to BirdLife (2005), the Gran Canaria subspecies is restricted to a few patches of forest in Ojeda, Inagua and Panjonales, possibly with a few pairs in Tamadaba.


      Reforestation of canary pines ( Pinus canariensis ) and radiata pines ( Pinus radiata ) with a ban on felling and felling of hedges, undergrowth and undergrowth has been carried out in Tenerife since the 1950s. (royal decree), this species is legally protected from hunting, trapping, prey (eggs and young) and trade. Pilot zones have been established since 1982 in Gran Canaria. The Mount Teide mountain range in Tenerife and six important areas in Gran Canaria have been classified as a national park or reserve in 1987 year. A conservation program was established in 1991 and another captive breeding program was adopted in 1992. Conservation Action Plan These two subspecies were published in 1996. In 1997, the Spanish government established the Conservation Program of pinzón azul de Gran Canaria . Another captive breeding program already produced young naturally in 1998, and others through artificial incubation in 2000 followed by release into the wild. This project was initiated on By the Group of Experts on Conservation of Birds appointed by the Standing Committee of the Berne Convention , whose assembly was held on 11 November. in Wageningen, Netherlands. Other ongoing research aims to identify actions that can restore habitat, prevent wildfires, eradicate the bird trade, and increase the population and expand the distribution of this species. More specific actions have also been taken, such as the installation of artificial drinkers. Finally BirdLife requests that the legal status of this species be controlled by CITES (BirdLife International 2005).


      The species Fringilla teydea is jointly described by the naturalists Philip Barker Webb, Sabine Berthelot and Alfred Mokin Tandon in 1841.



      This bird is represented by 2 subspecies;

      • Fringilla teydea teydea Webb, Berthelot and Moquin-Tandon, 1841: Tenerife;
      • Fringilla teydea polatzeki Hartert, 1905: Gran Canaria; subspecies with greyer upperparts, black forehead, whiter and more distinctive double barring, and thinner beak.


      The Blue Finch is most likely derived from the Finch tree which, after isolation in the Canary Islands, has given rise to several subspecies ( tintillon , ombriosa and Palmae ) and these are different species ( teydea ). Thus, we can imagine that the blue finch, elevated to the rank of species and therefore more differentiated than the simple subspecies of the tree finch, appeared chronologically before them. Its markedly differentiated plumage (uniformly blue) and distinct beak (pine seeds) suggest that it appeared first. Intermediate morphological characteristics of the Azores subspecies ( moreletti ) show what it must have looked like originally. It is also interesting to note in the North African subspecies ( africana and spodiogenys ) intensification of the blue coloration on the head, the spread of green coloration on the upper parts of the body and the replacement of the wine-red color of the lower part of the body with a brighter one. a pinkish-beige hue compared to the nominal form. In the island subspecies (Canary Islands, Madeira and Azores) there is a gradual expansion of the blue coloration in the upper part, which in Fringillia teydea leads to a completely blue plumage.

      Notes and links

      1. ↑ Lei 7/1991, from August 30, Symbols of the nature of steam on the islands of the Canary Islands
      2. a b and c Ottaviani, M. (2008) Monograph Fringilles (fringillines - carduélines) - Natural History and Photographs , Volume 1. Éditions Prin, Ingré, France, 488 pp.
      3. ↑ Grant, PR (1980). Colonization of Atlantic islands by finches ( Fringilla spp. ). Bonn. Zool. Beitr. , 31:311-317.

      See also

      Fringilla teydea in Fringillidae
    • (fr + en) Link to Avibase : Fringilla teydea Webb, Berthelot & Moquin-Tandon, 1841 (+ distribution) (consultations on
    • (fr) Ref. CITES : taxon Fringilla teydea (on the website of the French Ministry of the Environment) (see )
    • (en) European fauna guide : Fringilla teydea
    • (fr + en) Reference ITIS : Fringilla teydea Webb, Berthelot & Moquin-Tandon, 1841 (+ English version )
    • (en) Web link to animal diversity : Fringilla teydea
    • (en) Reference NCBI : Fringilla teydea (including taxa)
    • (FR) Oiseaux.

      Learn more