Finches (Fringillidae)

Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) - HBW 15, p. 513

French: Pinson des arbres German: Buchfink Spanish: Pinzón Vulgar
Other common names: European Chaffinch; Canary Chaffinch ("canariensis group"); African Chaffinch ("spodiogenys group")

Taxonomy: Fringilla coelebs Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.
Forms a superspecies with F. teydea. Has hybridized with F. montifringilla. Geographical variation complex. Races currently considered to form three groups, "coelebs group" (European and Asian races), "spodiogenys group" (also including africana, moreletti and maderensis), and "canariensis group" (also including ombriosa and palmae), each of which may merit full species status on grounds of morphological and genetic differences; in genetic studies, large differences between "coelebs group" and "canariensis gro.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Fringilla coelebs Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.
Forms a superspecies with F. teydea. Has hybridized with F. montifringilla. Geographical variation complex. Races currently considered to form three groups, "coelebs group" (European and Asian races), "spodiogenys group" (also including africana, moreletti and maderensis), and "canariensis group" (also including ombriosa and palmae), each of which may merit full species status on grounds of morphological and genetic differences; in genetic studies, large differences between "coelebs group" and "canariensis group", but less clearly so between "spodiogenys group" and "coelebs group", with nominate and africana evidently closely related; further study required. Considerable variation also within races, especially nominate, and wide degree of intermediates. Nominate race varies clinally; races sarda, syriaca, solomkoi and alexandrovi possibly represent extreme limit of variation of nominate, but further research required; proposed races hortensis (from Anhalt, in C Germany), balearica (from Mallorca), tyrrhenica (from Corsica), schiebeli (from Crete), caucasica (from S Caucasus region) and wolfgangi (from Tomsk, in W Siberia) all considered to fall within range of variation of nominate. Additional races described are scotica (described from Carmunnock, in SW Scotland) and hibernicus (from Glengariff, in SW Ireland), both synomymized with gengleri, and tintillon (from Tenerife), treated as a synonym of canariensis. Race transcaspia sometimes misspelt "transcaspica". Fourteen subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • gengleri O. Kleinschmidt, 1909 - British Is.
  • coelebs Linnaeus, 1758 - breeds Europe (except British Is) E to SC Siberia (R Angara and S L Baikal), S to Balearic Is, Corsica, Sicily, S Greece, Crete, N &W Turkey, N Lebanon, Caucasus, N & NW Kazakhstan and NW China (NW Xinjiang); non-breeding also S to N Africa, Ukraine, and SW Asia E to NW & SE Afghanistan, N & W Pakistan (Gilgit and Baluchistan) and N Nepal.
  • sarda Rapine, 1925 - Sardinia.

     See all 14 subspecies
  • gengleri O. Kleinschmidt, 1909 - British Is.
  • coelebs Linnaeus, 1758 - breeds Europe (except British Is) E to SC Siberia (R Angara and S L Baikal), S to Balearic Is, Corsica, Sicily, S Greece, Crete, N &W Turkey, N Lebanon, Caucasus, N & NW Kazakhstan and NW China (NW Xinjiang); non-breeding also S to N Africa, Ukraine, and SW Asia E to NW & SE Afghanistan, N & W Pakistan (Gilgit and Baluchistan) and N Nepal.
  • sarda Rapine, 1925 - Sardinia.
  • solomkoi Menzbier & Sushkin, 1913 - Balkans E to Crimea and W Caucasus; winters also Turkey and Iran.
  • syriaca Harrison, 1945 - Cyprus, Levant, SE Turkey and N Iraq.
  • alexandrovi Zarudny, 1916 - W & N Iran; winters E Turkey, N Iraq and N & C Iran.
  • transcaspia Zarudny, 1916 - S Caucasus, NE Iran and S Turkmenistan; winters N Iran and Iraq.
  • moreletti Pucheran, 1859 - Azores.
  • maderensis Sharpe, 1888 - Madeira.
  • africana Levaillant, 1850 - Morocco E to extreme NW Tunisia, and NE Libya (Cyrenaica).
  • spodiogenys Bonaparte, 1841 - N & E Tunisia and NW Libya (Tripoli).
  • palmae Tristram, 1889 - NW Canary Is (La Palma).
  • ombriosa E. J. O. Hartert, 1913 - SW Canary Is (El Hierro).
  • canariensis Vieillot, 1817 - C Canary Is (La Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canaria).