Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)


Taxonomy

French: Bouvreuil pivoine German: Gimpel Spanish: Camachuelo común
Taxonomy:

Loxia Pyrrhula

Linnaeus

, 1758,

Europe

.

Previously considered conspecific with P. murina. Races cineracea and griseiventris sometimes considered to represent two additional species, but differences although striking are few, and they intergrade with other races. Races rossikowi and caspica sometimes treated as synonyms of nominate, but further research on range of variation within nominate (and probably europaea) required; alternatively, when rossikowi is recognized (as here) then caspica is only doubtfully separable#R. Nominate race intergrades over wide areas with europaea in SC Europe and with cassinii and griseiventris in E Asia, populations of large and small individuals merging in somewhat clinal manner; several additional races proposed on basis of small differences in plumage tones of face, upperparts and underparts, and wing measurements, e.g. coccinea (described from Baden, in SW Germany), germanica (Thuringia, in EC Germany) and paphlagoniae (near Bolu, in NW Turkey), all synonymized with nominate, kurilensis (Kuril Is) with cassinii, and rosacea (from Yokohama, in E Honshu, in Japan) and exorientis (lower R Amur) treated as synonyms of griseiventris. Some regional variation within pileata: birds from Ireland paler than those in S England, and males in W & C Scotland slightly darker and females paler or greyer than corresponding sexes in C England. Race europaea often misspelt europoea (as in HBW) but original spelling recently confirmed with help of magnification#R. Nine subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. p. pileata W. MacGillivray, 1837 – British Is.
  • P. p. pyrrhula (Linnaeus, 1758) – Eurasian Bullfinch – N, SC & E Europe E across Siberia to Verkhoyansk Mts and Sea of Okhotsk, S to N Greece, C Romania and E through Ukraine to NE Kazakhstan, NW China (NW Xinjiang) and N Mongolia; winters S to S Europe, SW & C Asia.
  • P. p. cassinii S. F. Baird, 1869 – Russian Far East (W & N shores of Sea of Okhotsk, S Koryakland, Kamchatka and N Kuril Is); migrates S to SE Russia (Amurland and Ussuriland), Sakhalin and NE China (Heilongjiang S to N Hebei).
  • P. p. europaea Vieillot, 1816 – W & C Europe (W & C France E to Netherlands and W Denmark, S to Italy).
  • P. p. iberiae Voous, 1952 – #RSW France (Pyrenees) and mountains of N Portugal and N Spain.
  • P. p. rossikowi Derjugin & Bianchi, 1900 – N Turkey and Caucasus (except SE); in winter also NW Iran.
  • P. p. caspica Witherby, 1908 – Azerbaijan and extreme NW Iran.
  • P. p. cineracea Cabanis, 1872 – Grey Bullfinch – W, SC & E Siberia (R Ob, W Altai and N Sayan Mts E to Sea of Okhotsk and Japan Sea), NE Kazakhstan and N Mongolia, probably also NE China (NE Inner Mongolia and N Heilongjiang).
  • P. p. griseiventris Lafresnaye, 1841 – Grey-bellied Bullfinch – Russian Far East (E Amurland and Ussuriland), Sakhalin, C & S Kuril Is, and N Japan (Hokkaido and N Honshu); winters S to NE China (Heilongjiang S to Liaoning), Korea and C & S Japan.
  • Descriptive notes

    14·5–16 cm; 21–38 g. Medium-large, plump or robust finch with strong, broad bill and slightly notched tail. Male nominate race has forehead to upper nape,... read more

    Voice

    Most common call a slow, soft, melancholic, descending piping "peu", "teu teu... read more

    Habitat

    Lowland and lower montane deciduous forest and woodlands, thickets and copses, also heaths,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Variety of seeds, buds and shoots of various plants, also some invertebrates. Seeds and buds include those of yew, juniper (Juniperus... read more

    Breeding

    Season late Apr (exceptionally from Mar) to mid-Sept; two, occasionally three, broods. Monogamous; pair-bond usually endures for more than... read more

    Movements

    Resident, migratory and partially migratory; nominate race periodically irruptive, moving short to... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally common in most of range. Estimated European breeding population between 2,760,000 and 3,887,000 pairs, most in Germany, France,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. & Christie, D.A. (2018). Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/61419 on 18 October 2018).