Bird of the month – July 2023

Have you seen the bird of the month?

For July, it is the: Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)

Male Bullfinch
Male Bullfinch

Where can I find them?

They are a shy and secretive bird, more often heard than seen. They are less common in the reserve.

The best place to see or hear them is along hedgerow areas and the path that runs from the Lodge Road entrance down to the Lime Tree Avenue.

About the species

The male has a bright pinkish-red breast and cheeks, with a black cap and tail.

The female has a dull grey-pink breast, with a black cap and tail.

Bullfinches feed voraciously on the buds of various trees in the spring. They were also known a “pest” of fruit crops. They also eat seeds and insects. They can occasionally visit a garden bird feeder for seeds.

In the winter, the resident population can be joined from others coming in from northern Europe.

The species used to be on the red list, but numbers have slowly recovered. It is on the UK amber list, meaning its population and conservation status is of moderate concern.

The Bullfinch weighs around 21-27g and have an average lifespan of 2 years.

What do they sound like?

They are a secretive species. In keeping with their quiet nature, their call sounds like a piped “Phew”

Where do they nest and what is the nest made from?

Nesting normally starts in April and built by the female.

It is normally constructed in shrubs or bushes, such as blackthorn and hawthorn. It is a flimsy loose structure of twigs and moss. The nest is lined with fine roots or hair.

Incubation normally lasts for around 14 days. Both the male and female will then continue to feed and look after their young.