Length: 14.5—17 cm.
The subspecies of northern Europe is larger. The female has pinkish-grey underparts.
Voice: A soft, piping sound resembling ‘wheeb’.
Song: Composed of piping tones, including ‘teek-teek-tioo’.
Size of Egg: 17.0—22.2 x 13.0—15.4 mm.
During the winter months, especially when there is a great deal of snow, one might come across a great number of brightly coloured birds in rowan woods, at the edges of forests, as well as in parks and gardens. They are bullfinches, which fly to central and southern Europe in vast numbers from their homes in the north.
Elsewhere, the bullfinch is distributed throughout most of Europe, except Spain, and in many places is a resident bird. It is found chiefly in coniferous forests with dense undergrowth, both in lowland country and in the mountains, though it often also frequents overgrown parks and large gardens. At the end of April, the female begins to build the nest, quite close to the ground, in thick hedges or coniferous trees.
The structure is woven of twigs and the hollow is lined with hairs and lichen, sometimes also with fine roots. The male keeps his mate company during this period, both of them being very quiet and unobtrusive and concealing themselves adroitly. The clutch, numbering 5 eggs, is incubated by the hen for 12 to 14 days; only sometimes is she relieved by the male. The young are fed by both parents for 12 to 16 days in the nest, chiefly on insects, and for a short while longer after they have fledged.
In June or July, they usually have a second brood. Bullfinches feed on seeds and berries and in early spring attack and rip off the buds of flowering trees, especially fruit trees, which makes them extremely unpopular with gardeners.