Sunday, December 27, 2009

Chaffinch in a private home

I hate to post about birds that aren't totally accessible to the public, but the Chaffinch which has been hanging around since early December made it through the recent storms and onto the Boston Christmas Bird Count! I'm sure the information will now become more public -- although you still need to be invited inside a private home to view the bird. Even though I still don't feel comfortable giving a specific location, I did want to share some of the photos I was lucky enough to get of the bird.

The Chaffinch (Fringillidae coelebs) is a fairly common bird throughout Europe. There have been other records of this bird in Massachusetts -- although many of them are dismissed as released caged birds. Since this was a young bird showing a lot of feather wear, it's quite possible that this is an "authentic" bird. While not highly migratory (in the milder climates) these birds are known to form loose flocks and leave the colder regions, with some straying to eastern No. America. We may never know........Hopefully this bird -- or another like him -- will appear in a more accessible, public area so that more birders get the chance to see him.



  1. Sheila, what a fantastic looking bird and so glad you and Mark finally got to share it with us. Glad it hung around for the CBC too in order to be counted. Great bird to get on your list!

  2. Thanks, Kim, I just wish it were more public so others could see it as well....

  3. The chaffinch is the most annoying bird in the world. Its song (if you can call it that) has to be the most irritating EVER! It never changes and goes on and on and on for hours! Sorry, but I hate this bird!

  4. How funny that the only blog I could find that made mention of the Chaffinch's unbelievably irritating & repetitive 'song' should come from the other side of the Atlantic. The Chaffinch, until recently, was THE commonest bird in the UK and holds a special place in our literature thanks to the famous Robert Browning poem 'April', which contains the line
    "a Chaffinch sings on an orchard bough
    in England now"
    No, it doesn't: it squawks, on and on and on, without stopping!
    The male is rather beautiful, though, a fact we Brits ignore because it's so common.