Bullfinch (Pyrrula pyrrula)
Bullfinches are found throughout Britain but they are not that common, so we are always excited when we spot them in the garden. Male birds have a black cap and a lovely pinky-red chest and female birds are similar but paler. You will see a flash of white on their wings when they fly. They are about 15cm from head to tail.
The bullfinch is known to eat mainly buds of trees and flowering shrubs. They really enjoy eating the apple blossom buds in the garden. Luckily we have plenty of apple trees at Scotswood Garden!
Their nests are built from fine twigs, moss and lichen and lined with dark rootlets. They lay about 4-5 eggs which are pale green/blue with dark purplish-brown speckles. Both parents feed the young by regurgitating food from special throat pouches. A pair of birds may raise two or three broods in a year.
The group name for lots of bullfinches is a "bellowing “which is funny because bullfinches have a soft, piping call. This sound carries a long way so it’s difficult to find where it’s coming from sometimes.