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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.



Latin name

Fringilla montifringilla


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.


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



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.
Europe and Asia


Stuart Fisher, Xeno-canto

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