Birds of Switzerland
    back

    Hawfinch

    Coccothraustes coccothraustes

    Information

    The Hawfinch is about the size of a starling and a character bird of deciduous woods. It is distinctive due to its thick, massive triangular beak with which it develops an extremely powerful bite for cracking very hard seeds and nuts such as hornbeam seeds and cherry stones. This is an astonishing performance for a bird that weighs approximately 50-60 grams. Experiments have shown that to open a cherry stone, a pressure of approximately 40 kilograms is necessary.

    Voice

    Status (in CH)
    regular, scarce breeder, migrant and winter visitor
    Annual cycle
    The bar on the top line indicates during which seasons the species can be observed regularly in Switzerland. There can be great seasonal fluctuations of numbers. The middle bar indicates the typical migration seasons of a species. The bottom bar indicates the period during which the species normally breeds. As a rule it spans the period from egg-laying to fledging of the young.
    Annual cycle
    Annual cycle

    Facts

    Population size in Switzerland (Pairs)
    4'000 - 8'000 (2008-2012)
    Migration behaviour
    resident to short-distance migrant
    Diurnal/nocturnal migrant
    Mainly diurnal migrant
    Length (cm)
    17-18
    wing span (cm)
    29-33
    Weight (g)
    48-62
    Nest site
    trees
    Food
    seeds, insects
    Group
    Finches
    Habitat
    deciduous forest, settlements
    Distribution
    Distribution
    Distribution