Bullfinch Heaven

I’ve asked a lot of people recently whether they have bullfinches in their gardens. “You have got to be kidding” is the normal reply, and “I can’t remember the last time I saw one”. So I looked up bullfinches on the RSPB site and realised they are on the “red” species list and of “high conservation priority”. Oh god…. and I’ve got three in the garden right now!

Bullfinch

Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia

This is the second time this has happened. The first was with spotted flycatchers that nest in a box on the side of our house every spring. They are another “red” status bird. I didn’t realise they were so rare either. I always knew there was something special about my garden.

I can always hear the bullfinches when I’m gardening, their plaintive call doesn’t really do them justice, but it always makes me smile. However, they do manage to eat copious amounts of sunflower hearts, and I must admit to encouraging their addiction with a year-round supply.

I decided the best thing I could do was put together a film showing the male and the female, and the differences in their markings and colouring. So I sat in front of my computer today watching my CCTV camera (which was directed at the squirrel-proof feeder in the front garden) and kept pressing the record button every time one came to feed.

I’ve broken the film up into roughly five second clips. First of the male, then the female, then the male (you get the idea). Hopefully this should help to show the differences between them. The poor old female is very dull compared to her brash partner. He sits there with his peachy breast stuck out, as if he is some kind of small parrot on a tropical island. He certainly stands out in my dull brown garden at the moment. I’m always so worried that the sparrowhawk is going to make a beeline for him!

I hope you enjoy the film, and let me know if this has helped you to recognise this gorgeous little bird.

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17 thoughts on “Bullfinch Heaven

  1. Pingback: Bullfinches - Wildlife and Environment Forums

  2. Pingback: Bullfinch Heaven - Wildlife and Environment Forums

  3. hi beautiful little bird,you are very lucky to have him visit your garden,i never get them in mine wish i did,thankyou for sharing with us.

  4. Thanks for the video Jane! Great stuff!
    I adore Bullfinches, and hope they are recovering somewhat after their massive persecution by British fruit farmers in the middle of the last century…

    Cheers, Doug

  5. Vicki. Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately the picture was from Wikipedia (so I can’t claim that one) but they are still lovely little birds – even though they are eating me out of house and home!

  6. Doug. Must admit I quite like that name! I’d forgotten the bullfinches were persecuted in the fruit growing areas… thanks for that reminder. I must admit our apple tree doesn’t seem to suffer too much, still loads of apples. Jane

  7. Roger B. Thanks for visited the site. Yes, ours bring there young but the in-fighting soon starts and I think they go off and find other territories pretty soon.

  8. Bluefox28. Thanks for the comment. It’s ok, but I think I can do better… I will have another go when the weather gets a bit better, maybe on a different feeder. They are great birds though!

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