GETTING TO KNOW BIRDS ON TUESDAY
Whether you're watching small birds at your bird table, or birds of prey soaring hundreds of feet above your head, birds are everywhere. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy watching and listening.
Today we are going to get to know the BRAMBLING
These birds are winter visitors with a taste for nuts. Flocks of brambling head to the UK each year, escaping the Scandinavian snow and taking advantage of the food on offer in our woods.
WHAT DO BRAMBLINGS LOOK LIKE?
Males have a bright orange and white breast, while females are similar but slightly less vibrant. The bramblings wings are black with shades of white and orange and are pale underneath.
In winter, males have a mottled grey-brown head, which turns jet black during the summer. Females are a similar colour all year round to the winter male.
WHAT DO BRAMBLINGS EAT?
While they are in the UK, bramblings feed mainly on nuts, seeds and berries. The nuts of beech trees are favoured in particular and flocks of birds will travel in search of this food source. In their summer range, they will also take insects and invertebrates, such as caterpillars and beetles.
HOW DO BRAMBLINGS BREED?
The vast majority of bramblings found in the UK do not breed here; instead they fly north to spend the summer in Scandinavia and Russia. A very small number of birds – currently estimated at no more than two pairs – may stay in the UK all year round. They typically lay between five and seven eggs in a nest built within the fork of a tree. The chicks hatch after close to two weeks and fledge around 14 days later.
DO BRAMBLINGS MIGRATE?
The brambling is a winter migrant, flying to the UK to avoid the harsh conditions in Scandinavia and Russia. Birds typically begin to arrive in September and will normally have departed by April.
WHERE DO BRAMBLINGS LIVE?
Bramblings are a woodland species and favour beech woodland in particular. Flocks may cover large distances while in search of food.
SIGNS & SPOTTING TIPS
Look for bramblings moving in flocks through woodland and in adjacent fields. It is not uncommon for groups of bramblings to form mixed flocks with the closely related chaffinch. The species may visit garden bird feeders during times of extreme food shortages.
THREATS & CONSERVATION
The number of bramblings visiting the UK each year can vary significantly, depending on food supplies. The species is not of conservation concern, although it is vulnerable to the loss of its woodland habitat.
We hope you enjoyed this article or that it helped you learn something new
If you’d like to hear the bramblings bird song you can do HERE