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Hawfinch

The Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes), is a passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae. This bird breeds across Europe and temperate Asia. It is mainly resident in Europe, but many Asian birds migrate further south in the winter. It is a rare vagrant to the western islands of Alaska. Favored breeding habitat includes deciduous or mixed woodland with large trees, especially Hornbeam, and also parkland.

The hawfinch is 6.5 to 7 inches long and is bulky and bull-headed. Its head is orange-brown with a black eyestripe and bib, and a massive bill, which is black in summer but paler in winter. The upper parts are dark brown and the underparts orange. The white wing bars and tail tip are striking in flight. The sexes are similar. The call is a hard chick. The song of this unobtrusive bird is quiet and mumbled.

This large finch species does not form large flocks outside the breeding season, and is usually seen as a pair or small group. It builds its nest in a bush or tree, laying 2-7 eggs. The food is mainly seeds and fruit kernels, especially those of cherries, which it cracks with its powerful bill.

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Hawfinch


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