Over the past couple of years I’ve noticed an increase in the number of Bullfinches on my local patch. I’m not sure whether there are actually more or whether I just notice them more often because UK Bullfinch populations have declined by 36% since 1967.

Now that I can recognise their song I’m also hearing them a lot more.

Did any one hear the clip on Radio 4 with Tim Birkhead, who talked about and played recordings of a Bullfinch that had been trained to whistle? It was amazing to listen to how well they can memorise and whistle back a melody.

Bullfinches feed on insects, berries, seeds and buds. The ones I’m noticing at the moment are feeding on blackberries.

You can see that one of the Bullfinches has scales on his legs that could be as a result of mites or it might be due to the fringilla papillomavirus which causes wart like growths.

The other appears to have a tick or growth next to his eye.


Bullfinch in Brambles

Male Bullfinch

Bullfinch with possible Fringilla papillomavirus

Bullfinch with possible Fringilla papillomavirus

Flying through brambles

My most common view of a Bullfinch

About Alex White - Appletonwild

This is my diary of the wildlife where I live in Oxfordshire, and sometimes the places I visit. My passion is for British wildlife, especially Badgers and Hares. This year my debut book "Get Your Boots On" was published I am a keen amateur photographer. All the photographs on this blog are taken by myself unless stated otherwise. I am a member of A Focus on Nature, the network for Young Nature Conservationists, BBOWT, The Oxon Mammal group and The Oxfordshire Badger Group. You can also follow me on Twitter @Appletonwild Instagram appletonwild
This entry was posted in birds, nature, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, winter, Woodland and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Bullfinches

  1. Adam Canning says:

    I’ve heard a few singing lately. They were only ever a summer visitor to my parents back garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. David says:

    These are such beautiful birds. Many years ago (60s before I was born) my dad worked in an orchard. He told me how flocks of Bullfinches would devastate the fruit buds. I’ve only seen a handful of them myself over the years. I always hear them before I see them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We see them in our garden in winter, they seem to come when it gets colder. There have been several sightings in Devon in the last few days. Their colours are so beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

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