One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Eurasian and North African finch, typically with a bluish top to the head and dark wings and tail.
Genus Fringilla, family Fringillidae: two species, in particular the F. coelebs, which (in the male of the typical European form) has a pinkish face and breast
- ‘As I write, the old Bramley apple in our garden is occupied by a variety of finches: greenfinches, chaffinches and bramblings.’
- ‘The robin chaffinch blue tit and wren and green linnet collectively can put on a marvellous show as they take turns at feeding.’
- ‘The reserve is home to woodpeckers, chaffinches, bullfinches and blackbirds.’
- ‘The list was impressive and included robins, starlings, a goldfinch, blackbirds, redwings, chaffinches, wood pigeons and black-headed gulls.’
- ‘Dog roses, bramble, nettles and thistles provide good for birds such as goldfinch, greenfinch, chaffinches and the occasional rarity such as brambling or bullfinch.’
Old English ceaffinc ‘chaff finch’ (because it forages around barns, picking seeds out of the chaff).
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