Whats going on down on the Farm?
Have you got a bully in your garden?
Have you got a bully on your feeder?
Now, we are not here to discuss birds and wildlife that bully others off their perch today, but more to talk about the favourite of my regular visitors – the bullfinch! The male can be easily spotted by a blue-grey back and bright rose-pink breast, belly and cheeks, whereas the female is more pinkish and brown.
Whilst looking outside at the glorious weather of late I realised that I may love to look at them, and yet know very little about them in comparison to many other animals, wild or tame. Of course, known as wild birds in the UK they were once a popular cage bird too, probably before we began to bring parrots and other exotics. They would even imitate like parrots – perhaps a lot smarter than would be thought of this small red-bellied bird.
These stout birds are also known to be very shy in the UK, but not everywhere, similar to the robin (said to only be aggressive in the UK!). When it comes to feeding, they are known to be bud-eaters of plants such as pear trees and even common nettles, but also love sunflower and sunflower heart seeds. Since I like to place sunflower hears out it would explain the birds ‘flocking’ to our kitchen window, as well as the fact they love to nest in woodland and agricultural land! They also love to eat insects, but their beaks are not adapted for insect feeding, staying cute and stubby for the tree buds.
One of the loveliest parts of their personality is the fact that these birds form strong pair bonds, and so throughout the year you can see them moving together, raising up to 3 broods of babies per year!! Normally they come to feed in their pair, but if you’re lucky (like me) you may see small flocks assembling at your feeding stations. They don’t just show their loyalty to one another, but also to where they grow up. The British Bullfinch is highly sedentary and will rarely move more than a few kilometres from its hatching place in their life – imagine having wings and seeing so little; highly content birds indeed.
The British Bullfinch was also on the red list of species in danger for many years, yet more recently they have been moved up to amber due to an increasing population – it’s all looking rosy for this red cheeky chap!