The Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) is equal in size to the Chaffinch, but in terms of amount it’s not as common – the stock is approximately 1.000.000 to 2.500.000 couples, whereas the Chaffinch numbers from 5.000.000 to 7.000.000 couples. Its nesting habitat, like the Chaffinches, includes almost all of Finland. The further north you go, the more the frequency of the Brambling nesting increases, whereas for the Chaffinch the opposite is true.
The Brambling is a summer visitor in Finland, but occasionally even a large amount of the birds will stay here for winter. However, the majority migrates to middle- and southern Europe. The returning migratory flocks at spring might contain a very large number of the birds, who return around the middle of April to nest. In May, the nests are built, usually on birches, at the height of less than three meters. The female broods the four to eight greenish, dark-spotted eggs for approximately two weeks. The parents feed the young birds for around two weeks after which the younglings leave the nest. However, the feeding still continues on the field for some time.
By its appearance the bird, who is sometimes called “the northern finch”, resembles its “cousin”, the Chaffinch. The Brambling, however, is more colorful throughout and especially in flight the white rump stands out. At spring, the male can be distinguished from the Chaffinch easily by its black head and orange breast. Confusing the Brambling female for the Chaffinch female is possible, but the spots on the sides reveal the truth on which is which.