RSPB
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Conservation status: Green

A chunky finch with a large head and bill which is crossed over at the tips. Most often encountered in noisy family groups or larger flocks, usually flying close to treetop height. It feeds acrobatically, fluttering from cone to cone. Adult males are a distinctive brick-red and females greenish-brown.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Loxia curvirostra

Family

Finches (Fringillidae)

Where to see them

They are an irruptive species and may be numerous and widespread in some years, less so in others. Established breeding areas include the Scottish Highlands, the North Norfolk coast, Breckland, the New Forest and the Forest of Dean. It regularly comes down to pools to drink.

When to see them

All year round. In irruption years, birds will arrive from the Continent from late summer, often staying to breed.

What they eat

Seeds from conifers.

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-40,000 pairs--

Distribution

Key

In the UK
Largely absent from Central and SW England.

Audio

Ruud van Beusekom, Xeno-canto