Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua


What's in a name? In the case of the chaffinch, quite a bit! Their name arose because they fed on the split chaff from working horse nosebags. Likewise, the flocking behaviour of the male birds (coelebs = bachelor) is reflected in their Latin name (Fringilla coelebs).

Scientific name: Fringilla coelebs 
Other names: common chaffinch, pahirin

New Zealand Status: Introduced
Conservation Status: Naturalised

Where they feed: Ground, shrubs and trees.
What they eat: Seeds, invertebrates, fruits

Garden types

Chaffinches are found in about 30% of urban gardens and 40% of rural ones. If you feed birds, your likelihood of finding a chaffinch in your garden will increase by 10% and their numbers almost double.

Garden location

Highest numbers of chaffinches are seen in gardens in the northern and western regions of the South Island (Tasman, Nelson and West Coast). Lowest chaffinch numbers are likely to be seen in gardens in Auckland, the Bay of Plenty and Taranaki.