Birds – The Eurasian Bullfinch

Birds – The Eurasian Bullfinch

The Eurasian Bullfinch

The Eurasian Bullfinch male

In this article we will see: “The Eurasian Bullfinch”, birds, diverse and captivating, grace our skies with their melodies. From vibrant plumage to impressive flights, they captivate with endless wonders.

Birds – The Eurasian Bullfinch

Brief Background

Length: 17 cm; folded wing: 86-98 cm; wingspan: approximately 28 cm; tail: 55-70 mm; beak: 9 mm. Weight: 35 g.

Appearance and Behaviour

Male: Black head; ashen gray back; black primaries with whitish wing bars; white rump; black tail; red cheeks, breast, and belly; black eye and beak; brown legs.

Female: Brownish-toned back; gray-brown underparts.

Among the small avifauna of woods and gardens, the Eurasian Bullfinch is recognized by its rounded beak, head, and body, giving the bird a plump, almost chubby silhouette. In addition, it possesses an uncommon docility and passiveness for a species of its size. In terms of temperament, the Bullfinch seems to ignore impatience and excitement, especially since it is not easily startled and displays a fair amount of confidence.

The Eurasian Bullfinch

The Eurasian Bullfinch female

The Eurasian Bullfinch's voice sample

With its stunning red breast, the male is one of the most beautiful passerines in Europe, surpassing by far the famous Robin in brilliance. The female, in contrast, has a duller plumage. The Bullfinch is not very vocal, but it expresses itself with soft and melodious “duh… duh… duh…” notes, delivered singly or in strings of three or four. Males and females, strongly attached to each other, communicate like this throughout their daily wanderings. The Bullfinch prefers wooded areas, preferably with dense and not too tall conifers, bushy areas, and clearings bordered by fields, paths, or meadows.


Although it consumes insects and their larvae only accidentally, the Bullfinch primarily relies on the plant kingdom for its sustenance. It consumes a variety of seeds and is also a voracious bud eater.

Reproduction of: The Eurasian Bullfinch

In April or March, the couple, which has hardly separated throughout the winter, establishes its territory. While the male selects the site, it is the female who builds the nest. Accompanied by her mate during material transportation, she willingly settles in a young fir tree, near the trunk. 

Some Bullfinches also nest in thick brambles and hawthorn. The nest is composed of fine twigs as a base, supporting a carefully interwoven cup of rootlets, with the clutch being laid on a cushion of horsehair and fur. Once settled, the female lays 4 to 5 eggs. The eggs have a pale bluish background speckled with reddish-purple, brown, ashen gray, and black, forming a crown around the blunt end. Average size: 15 x 21 mm; weight: 2.5 g.

The Eurasian Bullfinch's eggs

The Eurasian Bullfinch’s eggs

The mother incubates the eggs alone, and although she takes some breaks to feed herself, she is normally supplied with food by her mate. The young birds hatch after 2 weeks of incubation and are raised by both parents. They leave the nest at 17 days old, and while the female starts a second clutch, the male completes their education for about ten more days.

Migration of: The Eurasian Bullfinch

Bullfinches are sedentary or, at most, erratic in temperate regions, seemingly unafraid of winter and its harshness. Only mountain birds or those from northern regions initiate a retreat movement, either towards the valleys for the former or southwest for the latter. However, these movements vary greatly from one year to another, both in terms of the number of individuals involved and the distance traveled, as the availability and accessibility of food play a determining role.

Distribution of: The Eurasian Bullfinch

The Eurasian Bullfinch breeds from northern Spain to the Baltic Sea and from Ireland to the Carpathian Mountains. Its breeding range also extends to Turkey and reaches as far as Japan

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A final word

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