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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hawfinches


One of the largest finch species, the Hawfinch species of bird lives in a large geographic area spanning Asia, Europe, and portion of North Africa. In Europe alone, an estimated population of 7 million hawfinches is a rather conservative number. Therefore, these birds need not worry about their extinction in the near future! Hawfinches mostly eat seeds, insects, and plant buds and leaves. They prefer living in deciduous forests with plenty of fruit-bearing trees but are no strangers to parks, gardens, and other "human habitats." As pictured below (images from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), male hawfinches look somewhat similar in appearance — except their breeding plumage is more vibrant.
Hawfinches: male in the front, female in the back — image derived from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds' illustrations
As shown in the map below, breeding areas include northern England and Scotland, northern Japan (especially Hokkaido island), northern Kazakhstan and northern Mongolia, southern Russia (including the island of Sakhalin and Kamchatka Peninsula). Non-breeding areas in which hawfinches live include eastern, southern, and western Europe, Eurasia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey), Israel and northern Jordan, North Africa (northern areas of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia), parts of China and most of Japan, and North Korea and South Korea.

Hawfinch distribution map (IUCN)

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