Country Corner

A bullfinch
A bullfinch

We have discussed how bird feeding has become a national obsession, resulting in increases in many species which have managed to overcome their natural fear of man and taken advantage of our feeders.

Strangely there are still a few species which could benefit greatly from birdfeeders but just do not seem able to pluck up the courage.

One example is the gorgeous bullfinch.

How strange that goldfinches have taken to feeders and greatly increased, while bullfinches still haunt country hedges and remain scarce.

There is hope on the horizon. A few lucky people are beginning to see “bullies” at their feeders. That is all it needs for the habit to spread.

Birds learn by copying one another. Bullies which use feeders will bring their youngsters to those feeders.

In turn, those youngsters will grow and produce youngsters of their own. Successive generations of bullies will form the feeder habit. Like a colourful snowball this number will roll and grow.

I am sure one day the 
bonny bullfinch will be much less scarce and will provide a regular and wonderful sight at our feeding stations.

Be sure to let us know when they drop in to your garden