Length 16 cm
Weight 35 g
One of the larger finches’s the bullfinch has a rounder more compact body , with a black face and head , bright pink underparts and a black tail. The female differs from the male and has a buff – grey underpart. The young juveniles have a brown face and head.
The Bullfinch can be found across the whole of the UK , anywhere that suits it’s preference for mixed woodland , parks and coniferous forest habitats. The bird is a shy creature , with reports showing only around 10% of Uk gardens have the bullfinch as a regular visitor. The birds are highly sedentary with most seldon moving more than a few miles from their nest during their lives.
Bullfinches mate and for a bond as pairs. They breed from May to June and normally lay a brood of between 4 to 6 eggs in a nest made from twigs , moss and lined with small roots. Chicks fledge at around 15 to 17 days. Most Bullfinches will have two broods a year. The average lifespan is around two years.
Bullfinches usually feed on insects, berries, seeds and buds – its liking for the latter has made enemies of some gardeners and fruit growers. Bullfinches have a special sac at the foot of their mouth that can be used to store food.
Bullfinch numbers have declined by nearly 40% since the 1960’s partly due to habitat loss. Classified as Amber in the UK under birds of conservation concern , as with most wildlife in the UK the Bullfinch is protected under the wildlife and countryside act 1981.
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