Bullfinches are one of the many wonderful British birds that we're lucky to have.
Not only are they simply beautiful, but they're one of the sweetest species out there. In this article, we're going to talk about everything to do with bullfinches.
About Bullfinches & What Do Bullfinches Look Like
An adult male bullfinch is completely unmistakable from other, similarly-sized garden animals.
They have a rose red breast and cheeks, which can appear to be a little closer to bright pink, depending upon the individual bird. A female bullfinch looks slightly different - their breast and cheeks are a yellow color!
Less striking colors
They also have a black cap and tail, as well as a bright white rump, which is typically very easy to spot during flight.
Fruit stealing traditions
They enjoy eating fruit and tree buds during spring and were once actually considered to be a serious pest upon fruit trees.
Bullfinches can be seen all across the UK, though typically not in places that might be a little trickier to fly to.
For example, they can be found in all of mainland Britain and the island of Ireland, but they cannot be found on the Isle of Man, and some sections of the highlands and islands of Scotland.
More specifically than that, they can typically be seen on the edges of wooded areas.
The best way to track them down in those situations is to listen for their call, which is quite distinctive.
Typically, bullfinches will live for around two years, though they can live for quite a bit longer than that.
The oldest bullfinch clocked in at nine years old!
Bullfinch Breeding Season
Bullfinches typically produce pale blue eggs in small clutches.
The breeding season for them begins in March and April, and the eggs themselves take two to three weeks to hatch.
Once the young are hatched, both partners will use their stubby black bill to help feed the young.
The young typically eat insects to help fatten them up a little. The goal is to, eventually, achieve a plump finch, and the parents usually achieve that easily.
Bullfinch Nest Boxes - the Perfect Garden Birds?
It is quite rare for bullfinches to nest in gardens naturally. Male bullfinches will generally seek out areas of thick cover to build their relatively flimsy nest.
Typically, fruiting trees may be considered, as the branches are often quite dense.
Farmers and gardeners have done their best, in previous years, to cut down the bullfinch population in the UK. This means that there are generally quite few of these birds that typically nest in orchards anymore, with them preferring nest boxes.
Because their nest is typically quite insubstantial, the bird is likely to enjoy seeking out nest boxes rather than fruit trees, as the boxes are deliberately strong.
The construction is certainly beyond the knowledge of a bullfinch, which means that it's less likely to get a bird killed.
Bullfinches as garden birds
Bullfinches are sometimes considered the perfect garden bird since they're minimally disruptive. Instead, they would prefer to venture from your home to mixed woodland and forage there.
This behavior makes them perfect for large gardens, as bullfinches like to stick to the edges of greenery, which is typically found at the base of a well-constructed garden.
What do Bullfinches eat?
The bright pink bird eats a whole suite of different things. While they were once considered a nightmare for fruit growers, they have since moved on a little, to prefer seeds and buds.
As part of conservation concern, some fruit may be grown a little sacrificially for bullfinches, with the aim being for them to eat the fruit near to their habitat rather than eating the fruit that was intended for humans.
Are Bullfinches Rare?
Bullfinches aren't too rare, no. For a while, their numbers decreased as gardeners and farmers deliberately shooed them away from fruit. After a period of conservation concern, though, the bullfinch is a little more common.
The bullfinch in gardens
Bullfinches, often the more bold male bullfinch, may find themselves drawn to gardens, though. This is because they may quite like to seek out seeds in bird feeders, provided the feeders aren't too exposed.
A bullfinch's white rump is likely to disappear if you step into the garden, though, so keeping your distance is wise to encourage them to come back.
How to attract Bullfinches into your garden
The best way to attract bullfinches to your garden is to offer bird seeds. They're the preferred food of the bullfinch, meaning that, when offered correctly, they'll be happy to come and visit to get some.
Offer bullfinches seeds by placing them near more densely green areas. Those spots will allow bullfinches to feel a little more like their under cover, which is ideal for such small birds.
Five facts about Bullfinch
They have a black cap, and a black tail - this is in stark contrast to their colorful breast.
They feed insects to their young but don't really eat insects themselves.
The feathers on the backs of their wings are a greyish brown, which is to camouflage them a little against predator birds that look down on them from high in the sky.
The contrast between their black tail and white underside makes them easy to spot as they fly.
They were once considered pests since they ate so much fruit from orchards and gardens.