GUIDE TO BIRDS OF ARMENIA

Hawfinch

Adult bird. Photo: Anders Bergman

The tall forests of the north and south-east of Armenia are the stronghold of this uncommon species. Being inhabitants of the canopy of tall trees, the Hawfinches (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) spend the summer in the forests, using their powerful beak to feed on the largest and hardest seeds that are inaccessible to other birds. 

The pair bond of the Hawfinches endures for more than one breeding season. The pairs stay solitary and defend their territory from the neighboring pairs.

Distribution of the species in Armenia.

They are typically having one brood per year. For the winter they migrate to the lowlands, finding food in orchards and city parks. In this season this species can often be found in the small flocks.

Conservation status

The number of Hawfinch in Armenia does not cause serious concerns yet, despite the fact that the species already disappeared in the forests of the Aragats and Araler Mountains, due to their degradation and is clearly decreasing in the Sevkar and Gugark forestry in northern Armenia.

Features of this bird

Below you can see the different plumages of the Hawfinch and its habitat, listen to its songs and calls, and learn about biological peculiarities of the species.

Songs & Calls

Learn more about this bird.

In Lori, Tavush, and Syunik provinces, Hawfinch inhabits beech and oak-hornbeam forests, settling in the canopy and rarely descending to the ground. However, here he can be seen at a watering sites at the forest streams. Its powerful beak is designed for hard seeds of beech, hornbeam, and maple, which it nibbles, sitting right on the branches of trees.

NEST ON THE WILD PEAR-TREE
Photo by J. Marshall

Hawfinches begin to build their nests at the end of April and starting from May, the female begins incubating 3-5 eggs in a well-camouflaged nest among the leaves. However, a sharp and short call can uncover its presence nearby. After about 12 days of incubation, chicks hatch, and becoming fed by both parents.

FOUR-DAYS OLD NESTLINGS
Photo by I. Ukolov.

Insects dominate in the nestlings' diet: crickets, grasshoppers, and caterpillars; the parents are looking for them in the lower levels of the forest, providing more opportunities to observers for detection of these birds.

After 12-13 days, the chicks leave the nest, however, the parents continue to feed them and these squeaking family groups can be found on the lower branches of the trees. A week later, starting from mid-June, the chicks become independent. During this period, birds wander in the forest, and one can just occasionally observe them.

From the beginning of November, the Hawfinches begin to group into small flocks and migrate to the valleys of the Debet, Aghstev and Meghri rivers, to the orchards of the Ararat Plain and to the city parks of Yerevan, where they are easy to spot on the tops of leafless trees.

FAMILY FINCHES
Photo by Rob Pocklington

Эта птица - Дубонос относится к семейству ... This group of Passerines with short and thick beaks, adapted to feed on seeds. Many species have bright parts of plumage, usually "flashes" on the wings. The family is distributed on all continents, except for Australia and Antarctica and hosts 227 species, of which 17 are found in Armenia. Four species are listed in Armenian Red Book.

Do you want to see this bird in nature?

Photo by A. Khachatryan

If you decided that you wish to see this bird in the nature, then it is time for you to familiarize yourself with the Birding Guide, which step by step will help you to master a new hobby - bird watching and will create a goal for your trips to the nature: to detect and identify bird species.

If you are already familiar with birding, then the Birding by Provinces section will acquaint you with the variety of natural bird habitats in the provinces of Armenia.

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