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Eurasian Bullfinch

Pyrrhula pyrrhula

Length: 6.5 inches Wingspan: 10 inches Seasonality: Non-resident in South Dakota
ID Keys: Black cap and face, rosy-red underparts on male, grayish-tan underparts on female, black flight feathers, white rump and wing patch visible in flight

Eurasian Bullfinch - Pyrrhula pyrrhulaThe Eurasian Bullfinch is a bird of the Old World, found from Great Britain in the west through central and northern Europe and Asia to the Pacific coast of Japan and Russia.  They are but rare vagrants in North America, with several sightings occurring in Alaska.  In Europe they are simply known as "Bullfinch".

Habitat: Found in a variety of wooded and scrubby habitats.  They have adapted fairly well to a human presence and can often be found in gardens, farmland, suburban areas, hedgerows, orchards, and parks.  They prefer scattered thick shrubs and vegetation within these habitats. They have a love of buds of fruit trees in the spring, a habit for which they've earned scorn by orchard owners and farmers.

Diet: Feeds primarily on seeds and berries, as well as buds and other plant parts. During the breeding season, they will also feed on insects and provide insects and other small invertebrates to the  young. 

Behavior: Not particularly gregarious, and most often seen as breeding pairs or in small family groups.

Nesting: The nest of a Eurasian Bullfinch is cup built of lichens, mosses, and twigs, lined with mosses, rootlets, animal hair, or fine grasses.  The nest is placed in dense vegetation, typical a shrub or tree, and generally between 3 and 10 feet from the ground.  The female lays between 3 and 6 eggs, and she alone incubates them.  The young hatch after about 2 weeks. Both parents help to raise and feed the young, which fledge about 2 weeks after hatching. Nesting pairs often raise 2 broods each season.

Song: Song of a Eurasian Bullfinch is a variable series of musical warbles, very quiet and difficult to hear most of the time.  The call is a soft pew.

Migration: In their native range in Europe and Asia, birds in the northern parts of their range are migratory.  Populations in more temperate parts of their range are permanent residents.

Interactive eBird map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Eurasian Bullfinch sightings

Similar Species: Distinctive plumage pattern if seen well.

Feeders: Will readily attend feeders for a wide variety of offered foods, including sunflower seed, safflower, millet, suet, and fruits.

Conservation Status: Populations overall appear to be in decline. In some areas such as in Great Britain, numbers are sharply down over the last few decades, a decline likely attributable to loss of hedgerows and other suitable shrubby habitat.  However, they are still found over a very wide geographic area and are common in parts of their range.  The IUCN considers the Eurasian Bullfinch a species of "Least Concern".

Further Information: 1) Birdlife International - Eurasian Bullfinch

2) Whatbird - Eurasian Bullfinch

3) - Eurasian Bullfinch

Photo Information: Photo taken on May 14th, 2014 in Finland by Arend - Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

Additional Photos: Additional Photos Coming Soon!!


Click below for a higher-resolution map
Eurasian Bullfinch - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Non-resident in South Dakota

Additional Eurasian Bullfinch Photos (coming soon!!)