Blue chaffinch

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Blue chaffinch
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Subfamily: Fringillinae
Genus: Fringilla
Species: F. teydea
Binomial name
Fringilla teydea
Webb, Berthelot & Moquin-Tandon, 1841

The blue chaffinch (Fringilla teydea) is a species of passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae. It is endemic to the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria in Spain's Canary Islands. This bird is the natural symbol of the island of Tenerife, together with the Canary Islands dragon tree.[2]


This bird is found only in the highlands of the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. It has two subspecies, F. t. tydea from Tenerife and F. t. polatzeki from Gran Canaria.[3] Its primary habitat is mountain Canary Island pine (Pinus canariensis) forest. It is most common in coniferous forest areas with dense undergrowth, but it is also found in laurel and pine woodland, tree-heath, and scrub.[3] It prefers habitat at around 1,100–2,000 m (3,600–6,600 ft), but it will descend in bad weather.[1]


Egg of Fringilla teydea teydea MHNT

Blue chaffinches resemble common chaffinches, but they are noticeably larger, and have a thicker bill. They are characteristically more uniform in their plumage, and they lack a dark cap. Females are a dull grey-brown, but can be distinguished from chaffinches by their weaker wing bars. Breeding males are unmistakable, with the namesake largely blue plumage and a grey bill.[3]


Their song is shorter and weaker than that of the chaffinch, and the flight call is croakier. Blue chaffinches primarily eat Canary Island pine seeds. Like the common chaffinch, but, unlike most other finches, its young are fed extensively on insects.[3] Breeding from the end of April to late July or early August, it builds a nest from pine needles and broom branches, and lays two eggs.[4] This bird is not migratory. This species may form small flocks outside the breeding season, sometimes associating with chaffinches and other finches.[3]


  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Fringilla teydea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Ley 7/1991, de 30 de abril, de símbolos de la naturaleza para las Islas Canarias - in spanish
  3. ^ a b c d e Clement, Peter; Harris, Alan; Davis, John (1993). Finches and Sparrows. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. 167–168. ISBN 0-691-03424-9. 
  4. ^ Heredia, Borja; Rose, Laurence; Painter, Mary, eds. (1996). Globally Threatened Birds in Europe: Action Plans. Strasbourg, France: Council of Europe Publishing. p. 344. ISBN 92-871-3066-3.