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Male Chaffinch

Male Chaffinch
Photo Information
Copyright: Hilary Wilkinson (Hil) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Black & White
Date Taken: 2008-04-13
Categories: Birds
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite photos of birds singing [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-04-15 11:51
Viewed: 4104
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
It was a lovely Sunny Morning and all the Birds were out singing and posing, there were Great Tits, Blue Tits, Robins and Chaffinches to name a few, but alas when I went to take a shot I found I had left my battery in the charger at home, so off I went home to collect it, then back at the park I was given a load of verbal abuse by a woman saying its against the law to take photos of kids and off she walked shouting and calling me all the names under the Sun, dunno where she thought the kids were as I was taking a pic of a Great Tit (it flew off) at the time, so instead of having a lovely morning with lots of pics I ended up with a couiple of pics and in a really bad mood!.

This Chaffinch was singing beautifully in the Alder Tree

Listen to his Song

Some info...

The Chaffinch, (Fringilla coelebs), is a small passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae. Its large double white wing bars, white tail edges and greenish rump easily identify this 14-16 cm long species. The breeding male is unmistakable, with his reddish underparts and a grey cap. The female is drabber and greener, but still obvious.

This bird is widespread and very familiar throughout Europe. It is the most common finch in western Europe. Its range extends into western Asia, northwestern Africa, the Canary Islands and Madeira. On Tenerife and Gran Canaria, it coexists with its sister species, the endemic Blue Chaffinch.


It uses a range of habitats, but open woodland is favoured, although it is common in gardens and on farmland. It builds its nest in a tree fork, and decorates the exterior with moss or lichen to make it less conspicuous. It lays about six eggs.

This bird is not migratory in the milder parts of its range, but vacates the colder regions in winter. The coelebs part of its name means "bachelor". This species was named by Linnaeus; in his home country of Sweden, where the females depart in winter, but the males often remain. This species forms loose flocks outside the breeding season, sometimes mixed with Bramblings. This bird occasionally strays to eastern North America, although some sightings may be escapees.

The food of the Chaffinch is seeds, but unlike most finches, the young are fed extensively on insects.

The powerful song is very well known, and its fink or vink sounding call gives the finch family its English name. Males typically sing two or three different song types, and there are regional dialects too.
The acquisition by the young Chaffinch of its song was the subject of an influential study by British ethologist William Thorpe. Thorpe determined that if the Chaffinch is not exposed to the adult male's song during a certain critical period after hatching, it will never properly learn the song. He also found that in adult Chaffinches, castration eliminates song, but injection of testosterone induces such birds to sing even in November, when they are normally silent (Thorpe 1958).

Alder Tree

Alder is the common name of a genus of flowering plants (Alnus) belonging to the birch family (Family Betulaceae). The genus comprises about 30 species of monoecious trees and shrubs, few reaching large size, distributed throughout the North Temperate zone, and in the New World also along the Andes southwards to Chile.

Alder leaves are deciduous (not evergreen), alternate, simple, and serrated. The flowers are catkins with elongate male catkins on the same plant as shorter female catkins, often before leaves appear; they are mainly wind-pollinated, but also visited by bees to a small extent. They differ from the birches (Betula, the other genus in the family) in that the female catkins are woody and do not disintegrate at maturity, opening to release the seeds in a similar manner to many conifer cones.

Note from Wilkipedia.com Song from R.S.P.B Website

jaycee, Argus, nglen, vanderschelden, Jamesp, Luis52, NinaM, CeltickRanger, Adanac, gracious, loot, marhowie, Alex99, earthtraveler, uleko, eqshannon, Royaldevon has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To loot: ThanksHil 1 04-16 14:34
To Alex99: ThanksHil 1 04-16 11:17
To uleko: ThanksHil 1 04-16 11:16
To CeltickRanger: ThanksHil 1 04-16 11:14
To marhowie: ThanksHil 1 04-16 11:12
To Adanac: ThanksHil 1 04-16 11:11
To NinaM: ThanksHil 1 04-16 11:09
To joey: ThanksHil 1 04-16 11:05
To lawbert: ThanksHil 1 04-15 14:13
To nglen: HairdoHil 1 04-15 12:51
To Argus: ThanksHil 1 04-15 12:43
To jaycee: ThanksHil 1 04-15 12:40
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-04-15 11:54]
  • [+]

Hi Hil,

Maybe the kids were in the trees? Sorry you had to put up with the crazy lady but this shot must have made you feel better. Fantastic pose of this singing Chaffinch - love that opened beak. Beautiful colors, great details and a lovely sparkle in his eye.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-04-15 12:27]
  • [+]

Hello Hil,
Great capture of a singing cock Chaffinch in an Alder tree. The POV, sharpness and composition among the branches are great and though the branch BG is a bit busy it stands out pretty well. Great lighting too!
TFS this fine image,

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-04-15 12:37]
  • [+]

Hi Hilary, I like the hair do on your Chaffinch he looks smart in his spring feathers. You have captured a nicee pose with him singing. good detail and colours. well done TFS.

Hello Hil
In my book the great tit was the pathetic woman who has nothing better to do than read the tabloids and watch daytime telly..What a crap country ours is becoming..ahem..nuff said!!
Back to this wonderful picture...The pose is one I havent seen before..All ruffled and full of voice..He is very very sharp..you really know your camera Hil..the colours are superb and so true..This one is straight to my favourites..Its one to aspire to.
Cheers Hil
(Rossi should have stuck with michelin!)

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-04-15 14:08]
  • [+]

It's a real dampener when someone does that... photography is our hobby and we should be able to enjoy it in peace! End of story!
Even if you only got a couple of shots, I'd be more than happy with just this! :-)
The pose you have captured is fantastic!
Very nice composition and POV.
Excellent sharpness.
I bet we'll be hearing this fellow doing opera soon!

Well done Hil,


Hi Hilary,

Beautiful image. Well done.
Excellent light and colors.
Well done

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-04-15 15:03]

Hi Hil

Lovely frozen action - good detail and colours too.


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-04-15 15:40]

Hi Hil.
Never seen this Bird before, and You have a great photo here. Nice pose and well framed to present it. Great note, very interesting to read.

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-04-15 16:27]
  • [+]

Hi Hillary, it happened to me once, this woman didn't want me to give peanuts to the squirrels, she said it's against the law, and she was walking her dog without a lease... I told her if she tied her dog, I would stop feeding the squirrels. She was mad as hell ;-) Some people don't have a lot to think about but to give their rage to the first person passing by. And I really like your picture of this chaffinch, birds we don't have here. I love the movement created by the twirled branches and the nice coloured cones. The light is nice, brightening the colours and this bird is lovely against the blue sky. By the way, we have the same camera except I bought mine in Leica, on sale. It's a great camera, isn't it? Thank you!


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-04-15 22:56]
  • [+]

Hello Hil,
I too have experienced forgetting a battery so I understand that part as for the women, it takes all sorts to make the world go round. But that said this is a splendid image with impeciable details and colors in a pleasant composition.
Thank you for sharing Hil.

Hello Hilary,
Excellent composition of this beatiful Chaffinch!
great pose with perfect sharpness, vivid colour and details in the shot
very well done

Great timing Hil (can I call you Hil)?
It's a lovely singing pose..Nice color, detail, exposure, DOF, and POV of the action :)
Well done,

Hello Hil
You captured this beauty with really good details and colours.

hello Hilary

very beautiful image of this singing Chaffinch,
fine POV, framing and DOF, lovely luminosity
of the image, great sharpness and details of the bird,
i love this kind of photos where yoi wait the good moment
(in this image the bird's singing) to shoot the image, TFS


Hi Hil.
Once more wonderful small bird picture from you. Your amazing series grows day by day. Superb scene, terrific exposure despite the contrast scene, excellent DOF and sharpness of the main objects. BG is perfect too. I also like the blameless composition of the picture. Bravo. Perfect job again.

Hi Hil, wonderful shot of this Chaffinch. Very good details and lovely pose of it singing. Nicely composed amongst the branches. Super eyelight and I like how the beak is shining. Nice touch adding the song link in your note.
Tfs Richard

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-04-16 9:58]
  • [+]

Hello Hilary,
I'm sorry a lovely sunny morning was spoilt for you but you did manage to get this splendid capture of the Chaffinch in beautiful morning light. Great focus, sharp details and beautiful colours. I like the Alder as a background too with glimpses of the blue sky between the branches. Very nice!
Many thanks and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2008-04-16 11:34]

Hello Hilary,
great shot the details and colors are wonderful.
Very nice POV, and the lighting brings out the rich colors of the plumage very well.
Very nice work.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2008-04-16 14:06]
  • [3] [+]

Hi Hilary

It takes all kinds to make this world keep on turning on its sometimes mad, mad, merry-go-round. One just wonders what made Madam Child Protector trigger. After all she had to save from harm all the children in the park from this dangerous camera wielding bird photographer. You see it is all so pathetic and such a non event that you should have brushed it off for the baloney it was. Yes, I know it's easier said then done. Anyway, this Chaffinch apparently just brought some sanity in an otherwise upside-down day and boy it is clear that he sang his song of his life.

I do notice that the camera was still so it seems like the prior farce did not upset you too much. You've captured the bird with excellent details and lovely colour rendition. The lighting was spot-on and the composition is great.

Well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-04-16 19:49]

Hi Hilary,
Wonderful shot of this cute looking Chaffinch singing its heart out. Very impressive sharpness and colours on its plumage with great light and exposure levels. I like the natural surrounding and the pose captured. Excellent POV and very nicely composed. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-04-17 6:24]

Hello Hil

A beautiful capture of this Chaffinch.
The colours are very beautiful.
I like the way you caught the chaffinch in mid song.
Nicely focused with very good details,the plumage shows well.
The composition is well done,the POV and DOF is excellent.


what a nice time to click the shutter release...Very good timing and you look from your bio pic as though you could do just about anything demanding in the physical world......go for it! And whatever...keep on clicking away!

Hello Hilary,

It's a wonder you got any shots at all if someone is ranting at you. You should have turned the camera on her and told her it was police evidence for verbal abuse!

Anyway, this is a great shot of the male chaffinch! Shouting must have been the theme of the day as he looks to be shouting as well!
The colours and details are spot on!
Although the b/g is very busy, iot doesn't detract too much from the bird.

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Caught with an open mouth! LOvely shot! Great personality you captured here...just too cute! Wonderful technically as well - nice and sharp and clean with perfect composition.

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