The chaffinch is about the size of a sparrow with a long body, and thick bill. The male is brightly coloured with pink cheek and breast, and bluish cap (has buff edges from September to March). The female and juvenile are olive grey above and olive below.
Both have blue/grey pinkish bills and prominent white wing bars with white on outer tail feathers and green rump. Its patterned plumage helps it to blend in when on the ground feeding.