The Bullfinch was so named because of its thick, stocky neck, which resembles that of a bull.
Males are unmistakable with their stout shape, bright cherry-pink underparts, black head and face, bluish-grey back, black tails and wings, with white wingbar. The female looks like a browner version of the male, with buffish-brown back and underparts.
Mainly seed eaters, but also eat berries and fruit buds. Particularly fond of sunflower hearts.
a distinctive low, piping 'tue', which carries well.
With its bright, cherry-red plummage, conspicuous white rump and stout bill, the male Bullfinch is one of our most striking and attractive small birds. It is a secretive bird, with a preferred diest of seeds. When stocks of seed run out they may turn to fruit tree buds, even though these contain little nourishment.
The Bullfinch is a sedentary species,,which generally does not travel more than 100km (60 miles). Never far from dense cover, keeping to bushes and trees, Bullfinch rarely settle on the groun. When they do, movement is by a series of ungainly hops.
Although frequently spotted in the south and east of the UK, the Bullfinch is currently undergoing a rapid decline in population and is now an official 'Red List' species. The bad news is that according to the Common Bir Census, there has been a 62% decline in Bullfinch numbers in a 25 year period (1972 - 1996).
There have been a number of suggestions as to why this particular species has been affected so badly. Declining numbers have been attributed to the loss of straggling hedges, which are the preferred nesting sites of the Bullfinch. Another major contributing factor is the intensification of agriculture, stripping the land of vital food supplies and nesting sites. You can help reverse this decline in the numbers of Bullfinch by providing nutritious havens within your garden for nesting birds.
Unlike many other garden birds, breeding pairs of Bullfinch stay together throughout the year rather than splitting up after breeding.
Their breeding season begins in late April, where the male takes the initiative in choosing the nesting site. The female then builds the delicate nest, where she will normally have two broods, which are incubated for 12-14 days.