486. THE BULLFINCH.
Pyrrhula europoea, Vieill. Nouv. Dict. iv. p. 286 (1816) ; Newton, ii. p. 166 ; Dresser, iv. p. 101. pl. 199 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xii. p. 447 ; Saunders, p. 195 ; P. vulgaris, Temm. Man. d’Orn, i. p. 338 (1820) ; Naum. iv. p. 383, Taf. iii. ; Gould B. of E. iii. pl. 209 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iii. pl. 41 ; Hewitson, i. p. 211, pl. liv. fig. 1 ; Lil¬ford, iv. p. 68, pl. 33.
Bouvreuil commun, French ; Pisco-chilreiro, Domfafe, Portug. ; Camachuelo, Span. ; Ciuffolotto, Ital. ; Dompfaff, German ; Goud-vink, Dutch.
Male ad. (England). Differs from P. major in being smaller, in having a comparatively smaller bill, and the under parts much duller in colour, being brick-red and not rich vermilion. Culmen 0.35, wing 3.2, tail 2.6, tarsus 0.7 inch. The female also differs from that of P. major in being smaller. The young bird resembles the female, but lacks the black on the head, and the upper parts are browner, the under parts are tinged with warm ochreous, and the larger wing-coverts are tipped with warm brownish ochreous.
Hab. Continental and western Europe ; Great Britain and Ireland ; a rare visitor to N. Africa.
Like its northern and eastern congener it is a resident throughout its range, hut in the winter season it wanders about the country in search of food. It frequents woods, groves, and gardens, is lively and cheerful in its general habits, active and agile when on trees or bushes, but heavy and awkward on the ground, and its flight is swift and undulating. Its call-note is a soft, plaintive hoop, hoop, or dyou, dyou, and its song, though mellow, lacks variety and power. It feeds on seeds, chiefly those of noxious weeds, berries, &c., and to a small extent also on tender buds, but the young are fed both on seeds and on insects and their larvae.
Nidification commences early in May, and the nest, which is placed on a bush or tree, usually not high above the ground, is built of thin dry twigs, fine roots and sometimes leaves, and the cup, which is very neatly formed, is carefully lined with tine roots, and less frequently with hair or wool. The eggs, 4 to 5 in number, are pale greenish blue, somewhat sparingly marked, chiefly at the larger end, with pale purplish red or violet-grey shell-blotches, and dull red or reddish brown surface-spots, and measure about 0.74 by 0.55.
486. Pyrrhula europAea
486. THE BULLFINCH.