An Old Friend Returns

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

This male Chaffinch was a regular visitor to my feeder during the summer, but I hadn’t seen him for the past few weeks, until today. The last time I saw him I noticed he had a problem with one of his feet, which looked like it was covered in a growth of some kind.

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

It didn’t appear to bother him then, and it doesn’t appear to bother him now, despite how nasty it looks. Looking this up on the net I believe he is suffering from chaffinch viral papilloma, a virus specific to chaffinches only. It may have got infected through a  small cut in the foot. Unfortunately there is no cure, but infected birds rarely die from it. I notice he does have trouble balancing sometimes, and it must be quite an irritation, but he seem well enough, and he is still quite friendly and allows me to get pretty close to him.

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

Photographs of  male Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), taken September 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.

On The Fence

This is the delightful little fellow who has been helping himself to sunflower hearts from my feeder for the past few weeks or so.

This was the first time I have managed to get a photo of him. It is a male Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), and he always appears to visit around five in the afternoon. It was just by luck that I had the right lens fitted to the camera at the right time to get these photos of him.

It looks like a young bird, sporting his fresh and bright plumage.

He knew I was watching him, as I had watched him before, and although a little nervous, I think he wanted the sunflower seeds so much he had pepped up his bravado.

And kept flitting to the feeder to gather one or two seeds before settling on the fence post again.

To learn more about these wonderful finches please visit my Chaffinch post.


Fringilla coelebs

This bright and colourful bird is a regular visitor to our bird feeder. Only today I watched it sip water from the bird bath, and just sit there for a good while perched on the edge of it, looking around before taking its fill of sunflower seeds from the feeder. These images are of the male of the species, which is much brighter with his bright red underbelly, the female being a plainer olive-green.

It eats a variety of invertebrates in the summer, mainly caterpillars, but otherwise takes seeds and berries, and visits bird tables for mixed seeds particularly, sunflower seeds.

The nest is a camouflaged cup of grass, moss, cobweb, and lichen against the trunk of a tree or bush. The female lays 4 or 5 eggs in 1 brood from April to May. Chaffinches can live for up to 5 years.

It is seen all year round, and is found in woods and parks, and is a very common visitor to the garden where it can become quite tame and used to people, so much so it may even feed out of your hand. A common and widespread bird throughout the United Kingdom.

Photographs taken April 2014, rear garden, Staffordshire.