Bill cone-shaped; wing, 9 visible primaries (true 1st being very tiny and invisible); tail I2 feathers; one moult in autumn, the differing spring plumage being due to wearing off of feather edges ; contains Finches, Sparrows, Siskins, etc.; granivorous but also insectivorous, especially when feeding young; nest in trees, bushes, or in a bank ; mostly gregarious in winter.
Beak powerful, thick, broad and high ; inner primaries much shorter than outer and markedly curved at ends like a bill-hook.
Coccothraustes coccothraustes coccothraustes (L.). HAwFINCH. Fr. Grosbec ; Ger. Kirsch Kernbeisser ; Ad. Frosonc.
d adult, summer. Crown brown, forehead yellower ; hind neck ashy grey ; back dark brown, rump lighter ; quills black with long white patch on inner web ; larger coverts white, forming a wing band ; middle tail feathers grey brown, with white tip, others black with large portion of inner web white ; lores and throat black ; underparts vinous brown, middle of abdomen and under tail coverts white. Bill bluish. Legs and feet flesh colour.
Iris whitish. Wing j loo-to6, 9 97-106. Tarsus 19-22. Bill 15-1S. In winter, colour duller and bill dull flesh colour. 9 duller coloured ; crown, rump, and under parts more greyish brown. Young ; head brownish yellow ; throat yellow ; back lighter brown with faint spots ; below dull white with blackish brown spots.
Breeds.—From S. Scandinavia and Petrograd in Russia, south over Europe, more abundant in south ; England and S. Scotland.
Chiefly resident. Rare visitor Ireland ; occasional in Sicily, Malta, and Egypt.
C. coccothraustes buvryi Cabanis. Paler, greyer.(best seen in female) ; bill less massive ; white on wings and tail less extensive.
(Tunis to Morocco), S. Spain.
C. coccothraustes tatianw Kudascheff. in summer light rosy below ; forehead lighter and back darker than in typical form.