This smart finch is a localised breeder, most commonly associated with large tracts of mature broadleaved woodland.


While the New Forest, the Forest of Dean and parts of the Lake District support important breeding populations, the species also occurs more widely across England and Wales in winter.

The use of gardens tends to reflect this distribution pattern, with a handful receiving regular visits from birds breeding locally.

The hawfinch is secretive in nature, so is easily overlooked – many breeding pairs likely go unnoticed.

Numbers have declined sharply over
recent years but for reasons yet unknown,
which suggests that
garden visits may
become even more uncommon than they currently are.

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Main image: Hawfinch. © Erec Thielscher/ullstein bild/Getty