Eurasian bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) is a chubby, small bird (about 14 cm). Males have an unmistakable colourful plumage which make them different to any other species in our country.
Males and females have a black cap on the head crossing the face and reaching the bill, which is also black and thick. At the end of the ashy grey back we find the white rump (the area between the end of the back and the base of the tail). Winds are black with a white stripe and the tail is completely black. Male has strong orange cheeks and chest and female is brownish, pretty much more discreet.
Is a common species in deciduous woodlands with dense trees like bleeches, oaks, birches or riverine forest species. Usually avoids open areas with scarce vegetation but don’t be surprised to find them in urban parks and gardens, specially if they have a creek or a small pool of water.
They feed on berries, seeds or even insects but, above all, they like to feed on sprouts and buds of trees and bushes. When winter is close to end, they often visit apple, plum or peach groves, taking good care of the new sprouts.
Due to their diet on buds, there are some places in Asturias where they are known as “sprout-cutters” or “sprout-thieves”.
Even though is a well spread species, it has been declining for the last years. In Spain, it appears as a “Special interest species” into the Spanish Catalog of Threatened Species. Main causes for this decline are their high-dependence on woodlands and, as always, loss of habitat and the increase of pesticides in agriculture, which reduces their chances to nest and feed.
Visit Nicole’s website if you want to know more about this beautiful birds.
And here you can listen to this bird song. Enjoy it!