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Conservation status: Green

Similar in size and shape to the chaffinch, the male has a black head in summer, and an orange breast with white belly. In flight it shows a long white rump. Gregarious in winter, it may form flocks of many thousands and often joins with chaffinches. Numbers can vary between winters depending on food supplies.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Fringilla montifringilla

Family

Finches (Fringillidae)

Where to see them

In winter likes beech woodland, farmland fields near woods. Look in flocks of chaffinches and other finches. In autumn look along east coast woodlands and fields. Will visit gardens in winter.

When to see them

Watch out for them from mid-September until March and April. Occasional birds stay into May or even later.

What they eat

Seeds in winter; insects in summer.

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
13-22 million pairs0-2 pairs45,000-1,800,000 birds-

Distribution

Key

In the UK
Winters across UK, apart from far N and W of Scotland
In Europe
Breeds Scandinavia and W Siberia, winters across Europe to the south.
Worldwide
Europe and Asia

Audio

Stuart Fisher, Xeno-canto

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