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Bullfinch

Observed: 3rd August 2013 By: John PilkingtonJohn Pilkington’s reputation in BirdsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in BirdsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in BirdsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in Birds
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Description:

Believe this is a male Bullfinch; seen infrequently in the past in the hedgerow at the bottom of the garden, but this is the first time that I have been able to photograph it.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Common Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) interacts

Comments

ophrys's picture

Rough

Looks as if he has had a stressful breeding season, as his plumage is very rough and he looks to be balding on top. Bullfinches moult quite late in the autumn, so he will be stuck like this through to October, probably, before he gets a nice fresh set of feathers!

Ian
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John Pilkington's picture

Plumage

Thanks for the feedback ophrys; is this stress likely to have arisen from a lack of food, competition with other males for females or something else?

ophrys's picture

Bald

I am never really sure what causes this feather loss in birds. You read one thing here and another thing there. Mites, abnormal moult, lack of food and so on. Your Bullfinch is not very severe and it might just be normal wear and tear, I suppose, but extreme examples are seen...

http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/gbw/about/news/latest/2012/balding_...

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/BaldBirds.htm

I ring quite a lot of Bullfinches and I rarely see rough looking ones like this...normally they are quite smart right up until they start moulting. An interesting one.

Ian
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