Sunday, March 15, 2015

Chaffinch

Today's offering holds a special place in my heart and the hearts of the members of the The Glorious All-England 249ers: the Chaffinch or Fringilla coelebs
The main reason for this is due to the many times over-excitement resulted in the claiming of a bird of great interest and rarity which turned out to be a humble chaffinch. To commemorate our affection we compete for the Chaffinch Hat, a beautifully hand-tooled peaked cap sporting a larger-than-life model of the male of the species (as seen in the photos) on the crown. A gentle squeeze produces a wonderful rendition of the male's song.
This song was one of the first I learned to recognise. The great Lawrence Holloway described it as a bowler running up to bowl with the final flourish being its delivery. 
The finches, Fringillidae, are divided into two subfamilies: Fringillinae and the Carduelinae. There is only one genus in the former and many in the latter. The former feed their young on insects and the latter on regurgitated seeds. 
The binomial comes from the latin for finch, Fringilla, and the latin for unmarried, coelebs. The common name is from the Old English, ceaffinc


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