Chaffinches are one of the most colourful birds in the British garden. The male’s blue hat, orange-pink breast and white wing flashes can sometimes be startling against the array of browner birds. Females are duller, with grey-brown feathers, but still have the distinctive chaffinch wing bar. The male’s striking plumage, particularly in the winter, make chaffinches a popular subject for wildlife photographers.
Their call is loud and varied but the most commonly recognised one is a blast of ‘pink pink’. This is an inquisitive call and has led to the chaffinch being called the ‘pink twinks’ in some areas of Britain.
A singing male repeats his song 5-6 times per minute to attract a mate; that’s up to 3,000 times a day. Recent studies have shown that chaffinches in difference parts of the UK actually have regional accents, with minute differences in their calls recorded.