Thursday, 17 March 2011

Have you noticed

British Chaffinch (left), Continental Chaffinch (right), Lesser Redpoll (front)

Have you noticed the difference between British and Continental Chaffinches? At this time of year they are at their most obvious. The British breeding males are peachy orange, slighter in structure, and have already started to stake their claim on a territory. The slightly larger Continental Chaffinches are deeper salmon pink colour in colour, and generally duller overall.

In the next few weeks the Continental birds will head back north and east, leaving the British birds in peace. British Chaffinches have been found (thanks to ringing data) to be incredibly sedentary. They generally don't move more than about five miles from where they were raised. Is Britain that good?

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