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The term Fringillidae refers to a family of birds, within this large group of birds are usually included types of passerine birds, there are many species of birds that make up this family and are dispersed in many different territories, although most of them usually abound in the northern hemisphere and throughout the territory of Africa. (See Article About: The Blue Andalusian Hen).

This type of birds are known because they present two characteristics of their anatomy that are different, which means that they are dimorphic and this is one of the main factors to identify this family. When birds have similar characteristics or are descendants of the same species, they are usually grouped in the same family, the term to describe these birds is usually placed by expert taxonomists who study them and identify them by a specific characteristic that is always repeated in their genetics.

Family Fringilidae

The Fringillidae family is characterized because they all usually have a strong beak that is cone-shaped, the length of the beak can vary depending on the species, but in some it can be a long and considerable length, in most species it is usually small in size.

This large group of birds has a flight pattern that makes it stand out from other birds, besides being a determining factor to differentiate the members of the same before other families of birds, they usually fly in a pattern of undulations that only belongs to the members of this family.

The habitat of the Fringillidae bird family may vary according to the species in question and the environment in which it is located, but in general it has been recorded that most of these birds nest in trees, so wooded areas are the most commonly inhabited, although it is clear that the nest may vary according to the personal preference of the bird.

Among the most common birds that make up this large family are many species of canaries, finches, goldfinches, among many others that are less known and are found in smaller numbers. (See Article About: Nycticorax Nycticorax Nycticorax).

The taxonomic study of birds usually causes many disputes due to the different opinions that experts usually have and although the denomination is already established, there are many experts who do not agree that they are correct. So far it has been established that this family has 51 different genera, which comprise a total of 225 species and from these species derive 407 subspecies.

The number of species that are established for a family of birds tends to vary constantly and this is due to the fact that not all the existing species of birds in this world have been discovered yet, even nowadays we continue to find species of birds, which although they are scarce in relation to members, they still exist and are in danger of extinction.

Some of these species tend to be endangered, although some are not serious, in the future they could disappear, so the number of species is never fixed. In addition to these factors, new subspecies of the original species are constantly emerging due to their interaction with other groups of birds and in some cases humans interfere and create new subspecies.

The birds that belong to the family Fringillidae are called “Fringilidae” and although each one has a characteristic that differentiates it from the others, characteristics have been established in a general way to differentiate this family of birds.

Characteristics

Given the number of species that exist in the family Fringillidae, it is difficult to recognize them all and differentiate each of its characteristics, even for experts in this subject is a complicated task, but if you pay attention to the general features of each species that makes up this family, you can differentiate without becoming an expert on the subject, the general characteristics of the fringillids are:

  • The family Fringillidae is composed of a group of small birds, their lengths vary according to the species, but they are not considered medium-sized birds since they measure a maximum of about 25 or 30 centimeters.
  • The beak is conical in shape, has considerable hardness and is usually small, except for some species or subspecies in which its length is greater.
  • The plumage of the Fringillidae is variegated, which means that it presents diverse tonalities, varying according to the species in question. Generally different colors are shown to the ancestral ones in the subspecies.
  • The song of fringilids is usually identified in a general way as “melodic”, since there is no way to classify every variation that exists between species in a common way.
  • The tails of birds of the family Fringillidae are usually composed of 12 feathers that are called rudder feathers, while the wings have 9 feathers that are called remiges.
  • They present a very friendly behavior, they are social in comparison with birds belonging to other families, but during the breeding season they are a little more reserved, for protection and nature.
  • They are migratory birds, they usually travel in large flocks during this season, so they usually feed in large flocks. The food is always constant since they feed mainly on various seeds when they are in these large groups and in the summer season when they usually feed independently, they feed on small insects that inhabit the area.
  • In general, these birds build their nests 2 to 3 times a year in trees, but they also build them in bushes when the occasion calls for it. The nest is usually in the form of a basket, varying its size and location according to the advantages of the construction site (See Article About: The Paridae).
  • The wings have a pointed shape and are usually very narrow in most species. The shape of the tail is usually square in most specimens and usually has a staggered shape.
  • The color can be varied according to the species and characteristics of some birds, but between sexes is different, males usually have a more vivid color, except when they are young they have a pale color like females, as the years pass the color is achieved that should, but in some cases it usually takes up to 2 years to reach the final color.

Subgroups

Within a family of birds are usually found large groups which are divided to store the species that have different characteristics from the rest, this is done so that no future problems occur when identifying birds that have totally different characteristics from each other.

Within each family can be found one or more subgroups which include a number of different species that have the same general characteristics, but some things make them completely different from each other (See Article About: The Falco Subbuteo).

Within the Fringillidae family there are two different subgroups, the first one is called “Chaffinches” (which has the smallest number of species) and the other known subgroup is the largest because it includes the rest of the species within this family, it is called “Carduelinae”.

Chaffinches

The Chaffinches group is a subgroup of the Fringillidae family, within this group we usually find 3 species, it is the smaller of the two subgroups of this family, within this group we can find 3 types of birds.

Common Chaffinch

The Common Chaffinch, known by its scientific name “Fringilia Coelebs” or as it is known locally “pizon vulgar”, is a type of passerine bird that belongs to the group of the Chaffinches, of the family Fringillidae and also extends within the family of the pizon.(See Article About: Lanius Collurio).

This type of bird usually breeds in areas of Asia, Europe and Siberia, as well as some specimens have been seen in northeastern Africa. Females are usually differentiated from males because the male has plumage colors that are much brighter with a blue-gray patch between the top of the head and neck, the rest of the face and breast have a pale rust hue.

In the females it can be noticed how the color is more opaque, so the color would be its sexual dimorphism, since in the rest of characteristics are almost similar, including some white stripes on the tail and wings that can be seen in both sexes.

Those who know a little more about the subject, can differentiate these birds by the sound of their song, the males usually have a much louder song and use it to attract mates during the mating season.

Characteristics

In order to differentiate the Common Chaffinch from the rest of the birds that make up the subgroup, the following characteristics must be taken into account:

  • These birds present diverse measurements depending on the individual in question, but it has been established that the common measurement for these birds is 14.5 centimeters in length.
  • The weight of a bird that is in excellent health can reach between 19 grams and 29 grams. (See Article About: The group to which birds belong).
  • The wingspan (distance between the tip of one wing and the tip of the other) in these birds usually reaches 24.5 centimeters and 28.5 centimeters, which is a considerable measure in relation to the height and weight of this species.
  • When the male reaches adulthood, it usually has a black stripe on the forehead. The nape of the neck, top of the head and torso are a bluish-gray color, which fades as it blends with the rest of the body colors.
  • The underside of the wings forms a kind of brown outline that borders the green color that is present on the rump of the bird.
  • The lower part of the torso together with the breast and part of the neck are a pale pink color, which resembles a cream color.
  • The plumage tends to change according to the season of the year in which it is found, which is why this bird tends not to be identified during these periods of the year.

Habitat

This type of bird, belonging to the Fringillidae family, usually resides in wooded areas where the temperature varies between 12 and 30 degrees Celsius. During the mating season, this bird usually seeks territories in northeastern Africa, most of Europe and even parts of Asia and Siberia.

Of this bird there are also some subspecies and because they are not clearly the same as the ancestral species, they tend to occupy other territories, usually found in the Canary Islands, the Azores and the Maderia Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The resemblance of these subspecies leads some people to think that this bird may reside in these areas, but it is a very common confusion that has been clarified by those experts on the subject.

The species of the Pizon was introduced in Great Britain only in the second half of the 19th century, but it had such a significant advance throughout the territory that it is currently among the most common passerine bird species found throughout the territory and is perhaps the best known to the general public since it was introduced into the ecosystem.

Being a migratory species that tends to socialize very easily, its expansion has accelerated in an incredible way over the years, in addition to the subspecies of the same have also been able to develop rapidly throughout the territory.

Reproduction and breeding

Birds mate in two different ways. Those that are sedentary and stay in their place of origin to reproduce, tend to be located in the warmer areas of the region where the birds are found. Those birds that breed in areas with colder climates tend to be located to the south.

The eggs of these birds must be watched with extreme care by the couple, because they are the food of various species of animals that inhabit the area, so much is the annual consumption of the eggs of these birds that these birds have been declared as a species of least concern, although the population of these birds is very abundant.

The males of these birds tend to attract their mates through song, they usually stand at great heights and perform their characteristic song which is louder than that of the females, when a female is attracted to the specimen that is singing, she approaches and continues with the courtship and later they mate.

After the couple reproduces, they plan to make a nest to keep the eggs safe, the nest is built entirely by the female of the species and is usually built among the branches of trees or leafy bushes found in the area, but always try to do it as high as possible to avoid predators that abound in the area.

The female usually builds a nest of considerable depth to have enough space for her and her eggs, the common materials with which this bird usually builds them are branches that they get in the surroundings which she combines with thin feathers until she manages to create a comfortable structure.

On some occasions it has been seen how some specimens have managed to establish very resistant nests, which are covered on the outside with grass, mud, spider web, which give great resistance and keep the branches together with the feathers, in addition to protecting the nest from the effects of the weather.

A female in normal conditions usually has 4 to 5 eggs per reproductive cycle, the general texture of the eggs is smooth and with a color that varies greatly depending on the specimen in question.

The female is the only one in charge of incubating the eggs, usually for a period of approximately 10 to 16 days, the hatching varies according to the conditions of each couple in the environment where they live.

When the chicks are born they are somewhat weak and are fed by both parents, although in many occasions it is seen how the female usually raises them for a period of 5 days and then receives the help of the father, so the chicks are raised until they reach a maturity to leave the nest, although even when they leave the nest they still have some care from the parents until they are fully independent adults.

Feeding

The food of the Pizon is usually the same in general, regardless of the species or subspecies we are talking about, the food is always the same and could vary only some small characteristics due to genetic or habitat issues.

This species of bird usually adapts its feeding mode to the breeding season and the rest of the year, when they do not breed, they usually consume seeds and some other vegetables that they can find on the ground or around the area.

Being a migratory species, they usually consume their food in large groups, although it is common to see that these birds do not consume food directly from plants and they do not use their legs to manipulate it, they usually eat food directly from the ground and to transport it they usually use their beaks. (See Article About: The Yellow-eared Parrot).

When these birds have young they usually change their diet of seeds for some invertebrates, this is due to the change in the climate that generates more of this type of food and so they can easily feed the chicks that are just growing. The invertebrate that has been recorded as a favorite of these birds is known as the “defoliator caterpillar”.

The way in which these birds usually get their food is by foraging in the trees, during which they remain attentive to any food that may appear, usually they usually catch insects in the air when they are doing this activity.

The diet of the young is different from that of an adult, it does not change with the seasons, because they are still young and are just beginning to eat food, they prefer foods that are more feasible for their organisms, so they tend to eat caterpillars, fleas, larvae, spiders and other various insects. As the young grow, their diet adapts.

Blue Chaffinch

The Blue Chaffinch is the second bird considered within the group Chaffinches belonging to the family of Fringillidae, this bird is also known as the Blue Chaffinch of Tenerife or by its scientific name “Fringilidea”, it is also a type of passerine bird and is considered characteristic of the island in which it lives, perhaps because of its striking appearance and its beautiful color.

On the island of Tenerife this bird has been adopted as a national symbol, before the government of the Canary Islands is recognized as a species that is an animal symbol of this island and is accompanied by the Drago which is a plant symbol of this island.

Characteristics

  • Most of the physical characteristics are similar to the Common Chaffinch described above, with only minor variations that differentiate this bird.
  • It is usually a little larger than the Common Chaffinch and the difference in size between the two birds is noticeable to the naked eye.
  • The bill is usually gray in color, but is also conical and strong, with a not very varied length.
  • The plumage in these birds is more uniform than in other pizons, the dark wings stand out less and a very striking light blue color is usually seen in the plumage of the entire body, with small variations in tone on the chest and abdomen.
  • There is sexual dimorphism, as the females are usually brownish with gray, which is opaque, although it can be easily distinguished from the common Chaffinch due to the narrower wing stripes.
  • Males adopt their blue plumage during the breeding season and can be easily distinguished from females, but when the breeding season is over, their plumage turns a bluish-gray color.

Brambling

The Bramblig is the last of the pizons belonging to the subspecies of the Chaffinches, within the family Fringillidae. This bird is known colloquially as the royal chaffinch and scientifically it is known as “Fringilia Montifringilia”.

It is also a passerine bird species, but it can be distinguished from the rest of the coatis due to its peculiar colors. This type of bird is usually seen in central Europe, especially in large groups during the winter season.

Characteristics

  • The plumage in this bird is characteristic because it has a white belly, the wings are dark in color and with a white stripe.
  • The upper torso is usually of a dark orange color which is blurred with the brownish color that presents in the head, the chest if it is of a strong orange color which is clarifying as it approaches the white chest.
  • Its size is similar to that of the other coatis, it can not be differentiated with the naked eye because it is not as common as the common Chaffinch, it is usually seen on fewer occasions.
  • Its song is of a droning form as it originates from a nasal form.

Carduelinae

The Carduelinae are part of the family Fringillidae, in this case they compose the second subgroup of this family, they are also a group of passerine birds, they are different from the rest because within their continuous diet there are seeds, they are considered experts when it comes to ingesting this food.

Even during the breeding season these birds do not change their diet, because of this the hatchlings are fed with seeds that are regurgitated by the parents, although they can vary a little the food of the same, almost always this is the one ingested.

The skull and its different shape from the other coatis is what makes them different at first glance, the consumption of seeds for them is a very easy task because their subspecies is an expert in it, usually open the seeds and cling to the stems, so they are of those who seek their food directly on the plants and do not collect them from the usually as other coatis.

Within this large group of subspecies a total of 184 species can be found, which can be divided into 49 different genera. Although 184 species are still counted today, 15 of these are already extinct.