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Blue-grey upperparts and bright red underparts.
Males Ussuri Bullfinch (rosacea) with brown upperparts and grayish-red or grey (griseiventris) underparts;cheeks more intense rose coloration.
Males Grey Bullfinch (cineracea) with gray upperparts and underparts.
Widely distributed and common over much of range. Breeds throughout the British Isles and France, northern Spain east across Europe to the Urals including much of Scandinavia except the far north and higher mountains and north to the White Sea in Russia. Breeds south to the Mediterranean coast of France, northern Italy and the Balkans, northern Turkey and the Caucasus.
The range continues through Siberia to Manchuria (China) and northern Japan.
Migratory in far north of range, partial migrant or resident elsewhere, migrants move southwards in Oct-Nov, returning Mar-Apr. More widespread in winter, especially in Iberia, south and South-East Europe and Turkey.
More orange below in males with some red on the back and females paler above
P. p. pyrrhula in northern, eastern and south-central Europe and east across Siberia (Verkhoyansk Mountains and Sea of Okhotsk), northeast Kazakhstan, northwest China and northern Mongolia. Winters to southern Europe and southwest and central Asia.
P. p. cineracea in western, south-central and east Siberia, northeast Kazakhstan and northern Mongolia.Far East (eastern Amurland and Ussuriland). Probably also in northeast China. Winters to Sakhalin, northeast China, Korea - sometimes treated as full species, Grey Bullfinch or Baikal Bullfinch
Male has completely grey underparts, sometime with slightly rosy
Male, Subspecies rosacea Photo by john_wright Mount Unzen, Nagasaki, Japan, April 2011
P. p. cassinii in the Russian Far East (Western and northern shores of Sea of Okhotsk, southern Koryakland, Kamchatka and northern Kuril Islands), migrates to Amurland, Ussuriland, Alaska, Sakhalin and northeast China
P. p. griseiventris in central and southern Kuril Islands and northern Japan, - sometimes treated as full species, Ussuri Bullfinch (or Oriental / Grey-bellied Bullfinch) together P. p. rosacea, which is also often included into griseiventris.
Red restricted to throat and side of head in male, rest of underparts greyish.
P. p. rosacea in the Russian Far East (eastern Amurland and Ussuriland), Sakhalin, winters to northeast China, Korea and Japan - see note under previous subspecies
Red restricted to throat and side of head in male, rest of underparts greyish with rosy.
Subspecies rosacea is not accepted by all authorities
Bullfinches have a broad diet, consisting mainly of the seeds and berries of a variety of plants. When these are scarce during the spring they turn to the buds of fruit trees. When bullfinches occurred in higher numbers they were considered to be pests of orchards.
Nests are built in dense hedges and woods between four and seven feet from the ground. Fine twigs, moss and lichens are used to construct the main body of the nest and a lining of fine roots is added. In May 4-5 pale blue spotted eggs are laid, the female incubates the eggs for 12-14 days after which both parents feed the chicks. A further 12 to 16 days later the chicks fledge. A second brood is then usually produced.