Eurasian Bullfinch

Eurasian Bullfinch

Common bullfinch, Bullfinch

Pyrrhula pyrrhula
Population size
35-70 mln
Life Span
2-5 yrs
23 g
15-17 cm
25 cm

The Eurasian bullfinch is a small bulky bull-headed bird. Its upperparts are grey; the flight feathers and short thick bill are black; as are the cap and face in adults (they are greyish-brown in juveniles), and the white rump and wing bars are striking in flight. The adult male has red underparts, but females and young birds have grey-buff underparts.


Eurasian bullfinches breed across Europe and temperate Asia. They are mainly residents, but many northern birds migrate further south in the winter. These birds prefer to breed in mixed woodland with some conifers, including parkland and gardens.

Eurasian Bullfinch habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Eurasian bullfinches do not form large flocks outside the breeding season and are usually seen as a pair or family group. They are active during the day flying from bush to bush searching for food. Eurasian bullfinches are shy and generally quiet birds. Their common call is a low, melancholy 'pew' and the song contains fluted whistles and is often described as 'mournful'.

Diet and Nutrition

Eurasian bullfinches are herbivores that feed mainly on seeds and buds of fruit trees. Ash and hawthorn are typically favored in autumn and early winter. They also favor kale, quinoa, and millet.

Mating Habits

early May to mid-July
12-14 days
4-7 eggs

Eurasian bullfinches are monogamous breeders that form pair bonds and nest solitarily. They may raise 2 or even 3 broods per season, which lasts from early May to mid-July. During the courtship display, the male walks in front of the female demonstrating the beautiful red color of his breast. Both partners make soft whistles and the male then feeds his mate with seeds. Eurasian bullfinches build their nest in a bush, (preferably more than four meters tall and wide), mature stands of scrub, or tree. The female is responsible for nest building and the male brings her twigs and rootlets. When the nest is ready it is lined with hair, moss, and roots. The female lays 4 to 7 eggs and incubates them for 12-14 days; the male helps the female with incubation and also brings her food. When the chicks hatch they are fed with a mixture of insects and seeds and fledge between 16 and 18 days.


Population threats

This species is not considered threatened at present. However, it is considered a serious pest in orchards and in England, for centuries every parish ( small administrative district) paid a bounty for every Eurasian bullfinch killed.

Population number

According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Eurasian bullfinch is 35,000,000-69,999,999 mature individuals. In Europe, the breeding population consists of 7,650,000-13,000,000 pairs, which equates to 15,300,000-26,100,000 mature individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.


1. Eurasian Bullfinch on Wikipedia -
2. Eurasian Bullfinch on The IUCN Red List site -

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