Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes)


  • Species name: Hawfinch
  • Scientific name: Coccothraustes coccothraustes
  • Family: Fringillidae (Finches)
  • Order: Passeriformes (Songbirds)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Large finch, about 16.5 cm (6.5 in) long with a wingspan of 29-33 cm (11-13 in).
  • Body shape: Stocky and compact, with a large head, a short neck, and a short tail.
  • Plumage color:

Males: Warm brownish-pink head and breast, black eyestripe and bib, grey back with black wings, white wing bars, white belly with buff flanks, black tail with white tips.

Females: Similar to males but duller overall, with less defined black markings.

Massive, triangular, ivory-colored beak.

Black legs.

Dark eyes.


  • Method of feeding: Uses its powerful beak to crack open seeds and nuts, including those too tough for other birds, like cherry stones and hazelnuts. Also eats fruit and insects.
  • Reproduction: Builds nests in tree cavities or thick bushes. Lays 4-7 pale blue eggs with brown speckles. Both parents care for the young.
  • Movement: Resident in most of its range, with some local movements in response to food availability.
  • Communication: Soft calls and twitters. Males have a short, simple song.


  • Habitat: Mature deciduous and mixed forests, orchards, parks, and gardens.
  • Diet: Seeds, nuts, fruit, insects.
  • Hunting methods: Forages in trees and on the ground, using its beak to extract seeds and nuts from hard shells.

Distribution: Found across Europe and Asia, from the British Isles to Japan.


The Hawfinch, a feathered fortress with a powerful beak and a heart of gold, might seem like a chunky songbird at first glance. But beneath its robust build and robust song lies a treasure trove of fascinating facts and adaptations that will leave you enthralled by this avian brute and champion seed-cracker of the European and Asian woodlands.

Masters of Seed Cracking: Forget delicate pecking; Hawfinches possess crushing beaks that rival nutcrackers. From cherry pits to hazelnuts, these feathered blacksmiths tackle even the toughest seeds with impressive force and precision. Imagine them as avian demolition crews with built-in miniature wrecking balls!

Hidden Feasting Technique: Their diet isn't just hard shells. Hawfinches are versatile omnivores, readily adapting to seasonal bounty. From juicy fruits and tender buds to insects and even the occasional small rodent, their varied menu keeps them fueled for their energetic foraging sessions. Think of them as feathered gourmands with built-in miniature buffets!

Unexpected Tool Users: Recent research suggests these feathered fortresses might be smarter than we thought! They have been observed using twigs and sticks as tools to pry open stubborn seeds and even manipulate objects to reach hidden treats. Talk about avian MacGyvers with built-in pocket toolkits!

Singing with Bite: Their songs aren't just melodious chirps. Hawfinches are powerful vocalists with a repertoire of rich whistles, trills, and even mimics of other birds. But here's the twist: they can sing while cracking seeds! Imagine them as feathered multitaskers with built-in miniature soundtracks for their feasts.

Symbiotic Symphony: Hawfinches play a vital role in the ecosystem. By dispersing seeds through their droppings, they help plants spread and take root, contributing to the vibrant tapestry of the woodlands. These feathered gardeners also control insect populations, maintaining a healthy balance in their habitats.

Cultural Charmers: In some European and Asian cultures, the Hawfinch is associated with strength, perseverance, and the power of nature. Its robust build and forceful beak inspire awe and respect, making it a treasured symbol of the region's resilient ecosystems.

Unexpected Regional Variations: Did you know? Not all Hawfinches are the same! Different populations across Europe and Asia boast subtle variations in plumage color and song dialects, adding a touch of feathered diversity to this adaptable species.