Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Day 46 - Brilliant Bramblings

Bramblng (Fringilla montifringilla)
I thought I'd look at another beautiful bird today that we are lucky to see this time of year, the Brambling. They are similar in size, shape and colouring to a chaffinch and can be mistaken for one - especially as they make it hard for us as they tend to flock with chaffinches too! 

Cousins of the chaffinch, the males are brighter coloured than the females.  They are not a native bird in the UK they only come here in the winter months (generally late September to March) where they like to feed on beech seeds.  They come from Scandinavia and travel over the land rather than over the North sea.  Some interesting facts:

  • They have a distinctive orange breast and wing patches and a white belly.  They have a bill similar to a finch
  • They make deep cup shaped nests lined with moss, feathers and grass near to the trunk in a conifer tree.
  • They decorate the outside of the nest with lichen so that it blends in better with the tree and is less noticeable to predators
  • They don't tend to breed in the UK 
  • In the UK sees approx 48,000 - 1,800,000 birds passing through often arriving in huge flocks.
  • They travel straight to their favourite food the beech seed and when they have eaten it all or if crops are poor and hard to find, only then will Bramblings visit garden bird tables.
  • They particularly like black sunflower hearts so leave these out if you want to try and attract a brambling.  They also like berries and other seeds and in the summer they eat insects too
  • They are about 15cm long.
  • The BTO has given them a medium alert due to a decline in breeding numbers however they have RSPB green status as in Europe numbers are still good 

I can only remember seeing one Brambling which is the one in these photos. This was at Fairburn Ings and I was really lucky to get a couple of photographs as it was quite far off and was quite shy just popping out very quickly to get a bite to eat and diving back into the brambles. I would love to see more as they are such a gorgeous little bird with fabulous colours!

You can find out more about these birds at: 

Hope you enjoyed,


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