Small, slim songbird with rounded head, small conical bill and slight crest; fairly long tail with shallow fork. Breeding male has bluish crown and bill, pink cheeks, brown back, green rump, dark wings and pink underparts. Female paler, mostly grayish-brown with darker back.
This bird breeds in early spring and early summer. It builds a neat nest of moss, lichen and fibers bound with spider webs and lined with hair and feathers in a tree fork or bush. The female lays 4-5 eggs, pale blue with dark spots, that the female takes care of.
Many finches eat different sizes of seeds, but the Chaffinch is a generalist, able to deal with a wide range of foods. This makes the Chaffinch able to live in a lot of different areas in our changing world. It feeds mainly on the ground. It often moves across farmland in large flocks, gathering grain and other seeds.
Chaffinchs also collect food from trees and shrubs in the spring and summer when they eat a lot of caterpillars. They like to feed these to their young. They feed their young on seed paste. This high protein diet gives the young a good start, which is a reason why the Chaffinch is so successful. This bird is also territorial, but has a cheerful, rattling song that keeps rival males and their nests apart.