Go to the new Waikawa News site.
Sign up for the monthly Waikawa Newsletter.

30 He aha tērā? Chaffinch

Small bird on flax spear.
Miraz Jordan

This sparrow-sized bird may have a brick-red breast, a grey-blue head and stripes on its wings. Its call is a fairly simple ‘cheep’. He aha tērā? What is that?

Sparrow-sized bird with red breast and striped wings, sitting on a flax stem.

Photo by Miraz Jordan. Used with permission.

Answer: it’s a pahirini, chaffinch:

Identification: Length: 14.5 cm; Weight: 17.5 - 24.5 g

Similar species: House sparrow

A small songbird species in which males are brightly coloured in spring-summer with a brick-red breast and chestnut mantle, greyish-blue crown and nape, black wings with a prominent white wing-bar and shoulder patch. Males are duller in winter while females are dull brownish-grey with similar wing markings year-round; both sexes have white outer tail-feathers that show during flight.

This item was updated on Wednesday 23 March 2022

I live at Waikawa Beach and love all the wildlife, fauna and flora.