Bullfinch card by Julian Williams
Greeting card with coloured envelope featuring common visitors to the bird table
TEXT written on the back of the card
Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
The rose red breasted bullfinch with its black cap and bright white rump is one of the easiest garden birds to identify, but they are quite shy birds and quite easily missed. Experienced birdwatchers will often hear their mewing calls before seeing their presence.
In spring they feed voraciously on the buds of fruit trees. Their name bullfinch maybe a shortening of Bullace Finch (Bullace being the Tudor name for the wild plum trees that they cultivated in their orchards). Other folk names derived from their habit of stripping the buds from fruit trees include Bud finches, Bud pickers (Devon) and Plum birds.
A more widely believed theory is that the bullfinch got its name from its large thick head and stocky form, like bull dog and bull frog. Some birdwatchers claim to have seen the birds head-butt other finches off the bird table. Other folk names include Alpe, Nope, Pope and Monk.
The female is a pretty pale pink.