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Bullfinch

Description


The Bullfinch is a shy bird, sometimes in small flocks, but more often a family group. They are quiet, and have a soft, almost sad call, and is generally not regarded as a song bird!

The male is unmistakable with his beautiful pink/red breast and cheeks, grey back, black cap and tail, and bright white rump. They feed voraciously of the buds of various trees in spring and were once a 'pest' of fruit crops, and if the Bullfinch is around it is a good reason to erect a net around your fruit bushes. in recent years declines in numbers have placed it on the Red List.

In the breeding season the Bullfinch is more of a woodland bird, and can be found in, Woodlands, orchard and hedgerows. Best looked for at woodland edges - usually located by its mournful call. But later in the year, around Autumn, they will venture forth to gardens and parks.
 

Facts

Length
16 cm

Maximum Recorded Age
9 years, 2 months

Typical Lifespan
2 years

Age at First Breeding
1 year

Number of Broods
2 or 3

First clutches laid
mid May

Number in Britain
300,00

Conservation Status UK
RED

Status in UK
Resident Breeder, Scarce Visitor

Fledging
15 - 17 days

Wingspan
26 cm

Weight
21 g

Habitat
Forest, woodland, farmland

First Record
14th Century

Egg Size
19x15mm

Egg Weight
2.1 g

Clutch Size
4 - 5 eggs

Incubation
14 - 16 days

Quick Facts

  • Diet consists of, Seeds of fleshy fruits (eg Rasberries), buds, shoots, feed their young on invertebrates 
  • The Bullfinch has a short, stubby beak specially adapted for feeding on buds.
  • It is usual to see the same pair of birds together throughout the year as they form a strong and lasting bond.
  • You often hear the Bullfinch’s call but do not see them as their soft piping note can travel a long distance.
  • The Bullfinch rarely move more than a few kilometres throughout their lives.
  • They are reluctant to visit feeders as they are one of our shyest birds.
  • Bullfinches can be taught to imitate a whistle and where once popular cage birds.
  • Pairs may manage thee broods a year, but most produce two broods.
  • Although small flocks may appear at feeding sites in winter, they are usually seen individually or in pairs.
  • The Bullfinch is front heavy and has a bull-headed appearance hence their name ‘Bullfinch’.
  • They have a short period of catching flies in the summer when they feed their young.  They are specialist seed and bud eaters.

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