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Fringilla coelebs chaffinch male edit2.jpg
Male common chaffinch
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Subfamily: Fringillinae
Leach, 1820
Genus: Fringilla
Linnaeus, 1758

The genus Fringilla is a small group of finches from the Old World, which are the only species in the subfamily Fringillinae. The genus name Fringilla is Latin for "finch".[1]

The four species are:[2]

The common chaffinch is found primarily in forest habitats, in Europe, North Africa, and western Asia; the blue chaffinch is an island endemic; and the brambling breeds in the northern taiga and southern tundra of Eurasia.[3]

The three species are about the same size, 15 centimetres (5.9 in) in length, and are similar in shape.[3] They have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings.[4] They are not as specialised as the other finches, eating both insects and seeds. While breeding, they feed their young on insects rather than seeds, unlike the other finches.[3]

In 2016 it was proposed that the extremely rare Gran Canaria subspecies F. teydea polatzeki be treated as a separate species, thus creating a fourth species, F. polatzeki.[5][6]


  1. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. p. 164. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4. 
  2. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Finches, euphonias". World Bird List Version 5.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Newton, Ian (1973). Finches. New Naturalist 55. New York: Taplinger. pp. 19–30. ISBN 0-8008-2720-1. 
  4. ^ Clement, Peter; Harris, Alan; Davis, John (1993). Finches and Sparrows. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-03424-9. 
  5. ^ Sangster, G.; Rodríguez‐Godoy, F.; Roselaar, C.S.; Robb, M.S.; Luksenburg, J.A. (2016). "Integrative taxonomy reveals Europe's rarest songbird species, the Gran Canaria blue chaffinch Fringilla polatzeki". Journal of Avian Biology. 47 (2): 159–166. doi:10.1111/jav.00825. 
  6. ^ "The Rarest Songbird in Europe". Wildlife Articles. Retrieved 2016-03-05. 

External links[edit]