Irish Name: Corcrán coille
Scientific name: Pyrrhula pyrrhula
Bird Family: Finches
Conservation status


Resident. Additional birds arrive from the Continent in winter


Named for its characteristic heavy build and thick “bullish” neck, the Bullfinch is a stocky bird. At around 15cm in length they are roughly the same size as a House Sparrow, though often appear much plumper. Their distinctive thick, stubby black bills are the perfect tools both for shearing off tasty flower buds and for crushing tough seeds. Males have a glossy black cap, face, wings and tail, a pale bar on each wing, and striking white rump patch, pencil-grey back and beautiful reddish-rose breast and belly. Females look similar, save that the breast and belly are instead a greyish brown colour. Young birds are browner overall, and lack the black cap. Usually feeds quietly hidden away in a tree or shrub, usually in pairs or small groups.


A quiet melancholic sounding “peu”, sometimes doubled “peu-peu”. The song is a similar quiet warble


Feeds mainly on the buds of native trees (Oak, Cherry, Hawthorn), as well as seeds and berries.


Breeds throughout Ireland, usually in hedgerows and deciduous woodland


Widespread, especially in gardens

Monitored by

Garden Bird Survey