Key facts

Scientific name: Fringilla montifringilla

Status: Winter visitor, occasional breeder

Breeding birds: 0 – 2 pairs

Wintering birds: 45,000 – 1,800,000

Conservation status: Green

Length: 14 cm

Wingspan: 24 – 26 cm

Weight: 22 – 30 g


Bramblings are medium sized finches with a black head and mantle and orange patches on their breast, shoulder and throat.

Underparts are brown and wings are black with white and orange bars.

Females are duller than males and juveniles are similar to females with dark head and grey cheeks.


Bramblings mostly breed in Scandinavia and north west Russia. They have occasionally been known to breed in Scotland.

They site their nests high in trees and they are made from moss, lichen, heather, and cobwebs lined with feathers, soft grass, wool and hair.

5-7 smooth, glossy green-brown eggs are incubated by female bramblings for 11-13 days. The young birds fledge at 11-13 days.


Bramblings eat seeds, berries, beech mast and insects.

During breeding season they will feed mainly in trees and in winter will form large flocks with other finches feeding on open farmland.


Where to see them

Look out for bramblings from mid-September to early April. They will be in woodlands and fields and will sometimes visit gardens during winter.


Fernand DEROUSSEN/xeno-canto

Did you know?

Bramblings have unpredictable migrations and birds that winter in the UK one year have been found in Italy the next.

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