Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Chaffinch (Fringilla caelebs), a very common British finch (q.v.), and probably the species whose call-note, which has been rendered pink, fink, and twink, obtained for it the name, which has been extended to the whole family Fringillidae. The specific name (= bachelor) was chosen by Linnaeus, because in Sweden the hens were said to leave the country in the winter, while the cocks did not; and it seems to be the fact that in the migration from Britain the hens precede the male birds, and that those which do remain are principally males. The chaffinch is common in Europe and North Africa, ranging east to Asia and west to the Azores. The adult male is about 6 in. long, and in its summer dress has the top of the head (where the feathers are slightly erectile) and nape bluish-grey, the back chestnut, the wings dark with two white bars, and the tail nearly black. The plumage of the hen is much less brilliant, and the young males resemble the adult females, but have the colours more blended. The song is clear and trilling. These birds live chiefly on insects, with which they also feed their young, the old birds at that time subsisting on seeds and grain. The nest is a beautiful structure, covered externally with lichen, and usually containing four or five purplish-buff eggs, streaked and spotted with brown.