You hardly see the bird for all the tufts of hair – or are it pine needles. It is a male of a Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) that has collected nesting material for its nest. The male Chaffinch thus looks like it has a broad mustache.
Shortly before, I could observe this Common Chaffinch male – maybe he was the owner of the territory – met another male on a beautiful morning in a forest near Brandenburg south of Berlin. This male sat motionless, somewhat intimidated, about 1 meter away on the next branch. This bird was obviously an intruder. The „landlord“ swayed back and forth, then back again, head forward. The burgundy breast was beautifully emphasized by this movement. The most striking feature was the expanded white shoulder patch on the wings, which was half open and extended to the side. The wings were inclined slightly below. This gave the bird a strangely flattened appearance. During the swaying the bird uttered fast, compressed, high calls, one can almost call them song phrases. These appeared very similar to the sounds of a European Robin (Erithacus rubecula). The intruder seemed duly impressed and soon tored out and was pursued afterwards. Then I could also see the chaffinch’s female. It had watched the spectacle on a branch – well hidden – from a distance. The female uttered a characteristic soft call, which the male seemed to understand as an invitation. In any case, he now devoted himself entirely to his partner, which resulted in a copulation on a branch. The female bent and stiffened her back. The female let her wings hang a little and trembled and stretched her beak vertically upwards. Afterwards, the male picked up the nesting material and was thus able to be photographed.
The scene of the dispute was located in the southern part of Brandenburg. The leaves in the riparian forest are still sparse. The warm spring sun shines beautifully down to the ground. The area is crossed by a smaller river. The mix of trees in this floodplain forest is varied. It mainly consists of oak, hornbeam, maple, alder and poplar. The proportion of dead wood is surprisingly high. Many thick trunks lie across the ground and create an impenetrable miniature wilderness. The area is rich in the avifauna as well. Other birds include Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla) but also Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) and Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula).
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