Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Carduelidae
BTO Codes: HF, HAWFI EURING No: 17170
Number in Britain: 800 Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Resident Breeder, Passage Visitor
Subspecies: coccothraustes recorded in Britain (of 6 subsp. in the world)
Length: 18 cm Wingspan: 31 cm Weight: M/F: 58 g    
Scientific name from: Gr.: kokkos=a kernel + thrauo=to break
World Distribution: Europe, nw Africa & n&c Asia
Habitat: Deciduous & mixed woodland
Diet: Large, hard seeds, buds, shoots, summer, invertebrates, esp. caterpillars
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: No population trend available
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 800 Pairs in 2011
    First Record: 1666 [Fossil evidence from Devensian (last) glaciation, 10-120,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Clements, R. (2013) British Birds 106:43-44
    Conservation Status: RED because Recent Breeding Population Decline (1981-2007),
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern: coccothraustes RED (Recent Decline)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
European Population Size:
    Summer: 2.3 to 4 million pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: Bern(III), NERC (41)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 24 x 18 mm Egg Weight: 3.9 g (of which 6 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 5
Clutch Size: 4 - 5 eggs
Incubation: 11- 13 days   by the: Female (occ. Male)
Fledging: 12 - 13days as: Altricial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 1
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: No data
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: No data
Maximum Recorded Age: 6 years 9 months 4 days (set in 1971)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: B+
Wing Length Adult: 104.6 ± 3.6 Range 99 - 111 mm, N =61
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: 105.8 ± 3.7 100 - 112 mm, N =29
Female: 103.5 ± 3.2 98 - 109 mm, N =32
Weight Adult: 52.34 ± 5.13 Range 45.40 - 60.00 g , N =62
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: 53.36 ± 5.66 46.00 - 63.00 g , N =30
Female: 51.38 ± 4.47 44.00 - 60.00 g , N =32
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Gaelic: Glaisean-gobach Welsh: Gylfinbraff
Danish: Kćrnebider Dutch: Appelvink
Finnish: Nokkavarpunen French: Gros-bec
German: Kernbeißer Hungarian: Meggyvágó
Icelandic: Kjarnbítur Irish: Glasán Gobmhór
Italian: Prosone Norwegian: Kjernebiter
Polish: Grubodziób zwyczajny Portuguese: Bico-grossudo
Spanish: Picogordo Swedish: Stenknäck
Local Names: Grosbeak

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Mountfort, G. 1957 The hawfinch Collins, London [598.982 MOU]
   Newton, I. 1972 The finches Collins, London [598.982 NEW]
See Also:
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Wikipedia entry
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BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides