chaffinch sighting victoria

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paperwebint
chaffinch sighting victoria

I live in Torquay, Victoria. 

I've just spotted what I believe was a female European Chaffinch in my garden.

It stopped me in my tracks because, A) I've never seen one in Australia before, and B) It was grappling with an insect on the ground (they usually eat seeds)

Having grown up in Scotland, I'm very familiar with species - knowing what both the male and female look like. (as well as their lovely voices !)

There is also a small introduced population in Cape Town - I see them every time I go there on business. (Constantia)

I'm now regretting not grabbing my camera because I'm now reading that they are absent from Australia. (but present in NZ)

Could anyone shine some light on this for me ?

Any other sightings ?

Regards, Scott

Araminta
Araminta's picture

Not by me, and I hope never to see one either. I also hope the one you saw is a one off, and won't be breeding. The one you saw has to be an escapee from a breeder. As far as I know , there is a ban on importing them, at least into Tasmania. The last thing we need in Australia are more introduced species.

M-L

Woko
Woko's picture

I totally agree, Araminta. It's always a problem when people keep exotic species in cages. Escapees are relatively common & create chaos by competing with native species. For the sake of Australia's native bird life I hope this chaffinch quickly expires.

Scott, it would be great if you could update this forum should you see this bird again. More importantly, a report to the relevant environment department & a request for the bird to be captured would be most helpful in ensuring chaffinches don't become established in Australia.

paperwebint

Thanks for comments. Agree fully with the sentiments re. imported species. It has not returned.  If it does I'll snap it and report. Got some advice from another member who suggested it could have been a female Flame Robin. This seems likely - I probably made an incorrect identification. Regards Scott

Woko
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It would be nice if it is, in fact, a female flame robin, Scott. However, I googled chaffinch & found that there's a number of people in Australia who keep them in cages & trade them. Sadly, it's a matter of time before escapees are competing with native finches. But fear not, the Chaffinch Society of Australia will immediately put its Recapture of Escapee Chaffinches Plan into action & have the escapees back in their cages before we can say "Goodness gracious!"

Araminta
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winkthey must be worth a bit of money then Woko, if they chase them down the road?wink

M-L

paperwebint

Ha ha ! indeed !!

darinnightowl
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not many escapees last that long in the wild, for a goshawk or hobby it's a easy meal.

See it!  Hear it!

Mid-North Coast NSW

Woko
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That might depend on the escapee species, Darin. It might also depend on the location of the escape. If a feral escapee was let loose in an area devoid of native vegetation where would the goshawk or hobby come from?

darinnightowl
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like all birds woko, from a egg !

See it!  Hear it!

Mid-North Coast NSW

Woko
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Silly me!

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