The Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) belongs to the family of finches and has such a unique appearance that it’s impossible to confuse it with any other bird species in Finland. In terms of proportions, the bird’s large head, large triangular beak, thick neck and short tail will appear striking to even a random observer – especially if you see the bird bouncing around on the ground, since its movement is strange-looking and sure to get your attention. The sexes look alike, except for the coloring at the edges of the secondaries.
The Hawfinch has been a nesting bird in Finland for ages, and the stock has remained steady and small. There haven’t been any large expansions of the nesting area in a few hundred years. The amount of nesting couples is estimated to be about 200 to 400. The nesting is mainly focused in the hardwood forests and large parks of southwestern Finland. Singular nests have been seen all around Finland, some as far as Lapland.
The nest is built high into the treetop, at the peak end of a branch. It’s not particularly great-looking, rather a pile of twigs and roots. The eggs, numbering from four to five, are brown or grayish-blue, with dark patterns. The female broods the eggs for a couple of weeks, and the parents feed the hatchlings in the nest for about two weeks, after which they are able to fly.
During nesting season, the Hawfinch is rarely seen, since they lead a secluded life high at the treetops. Usually, the Hawfinch is seen at winter, on feeding spots. Sometimes this bird, possessing wandering tendencies, can be seen even as a somewhat large groups feeding on berries on trees. Their beak is certainly fit for crushing the berries – it’s said that they possess a 50kp biting strength.
Usually the names of birds change somewhat as time goes by. The Hawfinch’s (“Nokkavarpunen” in Finnish, literally “The Beak Finch”) snout has certainly merited the bird’s keeping of its Finnish name for centuries.
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