Wild Birds – Chaffinch


The chaffinch is one of the most widespread and abundant bird in Britian and Ireland. Its patterned plumage helps it to blend in when feeding on the ground and it becomes most obvious when it flies, revealing a flash of white on the wings and white outer tail feathers. It does not feed openly on bird feeders – it prefers to hop about under the bird table or under the hedge. You’ll usually hear chaffinches before you see them, with their loud song and varied calls. You will find them around our bird hide and around the woodland walk.

Chaffinch you were born to live free
Amongst the sheltery hedges and the trees
And when you feel bored your boredom you can ease
By flitting off to anywhere you please.

Of us the human kind you live in fear
In your eyes we seem mighty fierce and queer
You will not sing your happy song of cheer
Whilst a human soul is standing near.

Bird with the pinkish breast and musical throat
You sing the songs the songs God for you wrote
You pipe your tunes the chaffinch songs of joy
The tunes your father piped in days gone by.

Each day about the farm yards you feed
On litle bits of scattered chaff and seed
From the free flowing streamlets drink your fill
And amongst the sheltery hedgerows chirp and trill.

Peering down suspiciously at me
From your lofty perch atop the leafy tree
You will not pipe until I go away
But I shall hide and hear the tunes you play.

By Francis Duggen