Animals / Birds



Обыкновенный дубонос (ру.)

Kernbeißer (de.)

Picogordo (es.)


Order — Passeriformes.

Family — Fringillidae.

Subfamily — Carduelinae.

Genus — Coccothraustes.

Species — Coccothraustes coccothraustes.


The hawfinch is distributed in the whole of Europe, Eastern Asia (including North Japan), the North of Africa (Morocco, Tunisia and Argelia). It has also been sighted in Alaska, but this is reported as an accidental presence. It is not found in Iceland, parts of the British Isles, Scandinavia nor certain Mediterranean islands. It is however found in the South, such as in Spain and Bulgaria, as well as in central Europe, including parts of England and the South of Sweden. In Asia it can be found in the Caucasus, the North of Iran, Afghanistan, Turkistan, Siberia, Manchuria and North Korea.

The hawfinch typically inhabits deciduous forests during the spring to have offspring, often in trees that bear fruit, such as oak trees. They also incur into human areas, such as parks and gardens. They can also be found in pine woods, as long as there's a source of water in the vicinity. During autumn and winter they seek food-providing forests, especially those with cherry and plum trees. As for height, the hawfinch is present in any altitude up to that which is limited by the size of the tree.

Внешний вид

Length: 18 cm.

Wingspan: 29-33 cm.

Weight: 48-62 g.

The Hawfinch is a large, heavily built finch with a large head, "bull-neck" and a powerful, conical shaped bill.

Back is a rusty-brown.

Breast and belly are buff.

Head is orange-brown with a black bib and grey neck.

Wings are glossy blue-black with a broad white wing patch.

Ends of the secondary flight feathers are splayed and twisted to form curiously shaped ends.

Tail is short with a broad white terminal band.

Bill is grey-blue in summer, yellow in winter and the legs are flesh-brown.

Juvenile heads are more orange coloured and lack black markings, and their breast is grey-yellow and the belly is darkly spotted.

Hawfinches are similar in size and colour to Waxwings, but these are winter visitors and have a crest.

Eye Color: Brown to pale gray-brown.

Head pattern: Masked, Unique pattern.

Crown Color: Yellow-brown.

Forehead Color: Yellow-brown.

Nape Color: Yellow-brown and gray.

Throat Color: Black.

Wing Shape: Rounded-Wings.

Tail shape: Squared Tail.

Tail Pattern: Tipped.

Upper Tail: Brown with white tip.

Under Tail: Brown with white tip.

Leg Color: Pink.


The mandibles and their muscles are so powerful they can crush cherry stones by applying a force of over 500 kN, which is equivalent to about 60 tonnes for a human, so that they can eat the cherry seed, of which they are particularly fond.

Other large tree seeds, such as hornbeam and beech, as well as hips and haws of hedgerows are also among their diet. In the spring they feed on oak buds, and then in the summer they feed on insects, such as beetles.


As the closest living relatives of the Hawfinch are the Evening and the Hooded Grosbeak, it is sometimes called the European Grosbeak.

They have an unexplained habit of breeding in the same locality before disappearing and then returning after a few years. Such erratic behaviour results in few conclusions about population trends.

Their shy and retiring habits and lack of conspicuous song make it possible for people to live for years without discovering the presence of hawfinches.

A group of finches has many collective nouns, including a "charm", "company", and "trembling" of finches.


Stress: the most common cause of feather loss in finches is stress.

Eye Problems / Conjunctivitis: Herpes virus infection; Mycoplasmal Conjunctivitis or Blepharitis.

Parasites. Iodine deficiency. Scaly Face Mites. Scaly Legs.


Hawfinches first breed when they are one year old. They are monogamous with a pair-bond that sometimes persists from one year to the next. Pair-formation takes place before the breakup of the wintering flocks. The date for breeding is dependent on the spring temperature and is earlier in southwest Europe and later in the northeast. In Britain most clutches are laid between late April and late June.

Hawfinches engage in an elaborate series of courtship routines. The two birds stand apart facing one another and reach out to touch their bills. The male displays to the female by standing erect, puffing out the feathers on his head, neck and chest and allowing his wings to droop forward. He then makes a deep bow. The male will also lower a wing and moves it in a semi-circular arc revealing his wing bars and modified wing feathers.

The breeding pairs are usually solitary but they occasionally breed in loose groups. The nest is normally located high in a tree on a horizontal branch with easy access from the air. The male chooses the site of the nest and builds a layer of dry twigs. After a few days the female takes over. The nest is untidy and is formed of a bulky twig base and a shallow cup lined with roots, grasses and lichens. The eggs are laid in early morning at daily intervals. The clutch is normally 4-5 eggs. There is considerable variable in the colour and shape of the eggs. They have purple brown and pale grey squiggles on a background that can be buff, grey-green or pale blueish. The average size is 24.1 mm × 17.5 mm (0.95 in × 0.69 in) with a calculated weight of 3.89 g (0.137 oz). The eggs are incubated for 11–13 days by the female. The nestlings are fed by both parents who regurgitate seeds but also bring mouthfuls of caterpillars. Initially the male normally passes the food to the female who feeds the chicks but as they grow bigger both adults feed them directly. The female broods the chicks while they are in the nest. They fledge after 12–14 days and the young birds become independent of their parents around 30 days later. The parents generally only raise a single brood each year.

The hawfinch is highly unusual among cardueline finches in that the male bird choses the nest site and starts the construction. In other species the female performs these roles. The hawfinch is also unusual in that the nest is kept clean by the parents removing the faecal sacs of the nestlings right up to the time when the chicks fledge. This behaviour is shared by the Eurasian bullfinch but most finches cease to remove the faecal material after the first few days.

The annual survival rate is no known. The maximum age obtained from ring-recovery data is 12 years and 7 months for a bird in Germany.

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