Bullfinch Bird: Identification, Behaviour, and Feeding Guide

Bullfinch Bird: Identification, Behaviour, and Feeding Guide

The Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) comes from the family of finches (Fringillidae).

It is a quiet, secretive but heavily built finch, the male has beautiful uniform pinkish-red breast and underparts, a black head, tail and primary wing feathers and grey back. In flight, its white rump is particularly noticeable. The female has duller plumage being paler and browner. They have short, stout black bills, ideal for breaking open hedgerow fruits and cracking open seeds.

It is a bird that can be seen all year round and can be found in orchards, hedgerows and woodland edges and can usually be located by its mournful call, which is a low, short whistle ‘phew’. They feed voraciously on the buds from trees and shrubs, they prefer the flower buds over leaf buds as they are more nutritious and they are known to eat up to 30 buds a minute. During winter/early spring they eat the buds when the supplies of seeds are low and they can become ‘pests’, particularly in the fruit crops.
During the late 1900s, the Bullfinch population had declined and was a Red List species (of the highest concern). But over the last few years their numbers have recovered (and continue to do so) and so they have been moved to the amber list.
During the breeding season and late summer, the Bullfinch is particularly shy but as winter approaches and hedgerow food becomes more difficult to find they will come into gardens in search of food. They may then be in small groups and will come to the bird table and any food spread on the ground.
Best bird seeds for Bullfinches: Haith's SUPERCLEAN™ Sunflower Hearts provide high calorific value and high-energy to keep garden birds healthy. They're universally well-known for keeping bird feeding simple yet effective. The sheer amount of birds they appeal to is sensational, which is why they feature in many of our high-energy bird foods, and Bullfinches take to them readily.
Sunflower Hearts appeal to so many garden birds – no wonder they’ve overtaken peanuts as the number one garden bird food of choice. Feed sunflowers from tube-type seed feeders, bird tables, and ground feeders or sprinkle them on the ground. Haith’s are super clean and super fresh as that’s what’s best for garden birds and wildlife.
Suet’s are also a favourite and are now a year-round food and not just to supplement winter feeding as they are considered superfood for all seasons. Feed suet throughout the entire year and particularly during key periods, such as the breeding season, during moulting and prior to migration.

Don’t despair if you haven’t seen a Bullfinch visiting your garden - they tend to remain in the same areas throughout their lives and may only move away from their breeding sites during the harsh weather in order to search for food.
If you have a garden that is connected to woodlands by thick hedgerows you may have a chance of spotting one.
So keep a lookout for these beautiful birds as they will brighten up your day.

Written by Tina Jakes





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