Bramlings (Fringilla montifringilla)

The Brambling, Fringilla montifringilla, is widespread throughout the forests of northern Europe and Asia.

The Brambling winters in southern Europe, north Africa, Northern Pakistan, north India, China and Japan. During migration, they regularly stray into Alaska and may move as far south as western United States.

Outside the breeding season, the Bramblings may form large feeding flocks – sometimes mixed with the similar Chaffinches.

The Brambling is sometimes referred to as the “Chaffinch of the north”, as it seems to replace the Chaffinch as the commonest bird in the pine and birch forests of Scandinavia.


Breeding / Nesting:

They typically breed in coniferous or birch woodland.

The nest is usually situated in tree fork; and the exterior is decorated with moss or lichen to make it less conspicuous.

The average clutch size consists of 4 to 9 eggs, which are incubated for about 13 days.

Diet / Feeding:

The main diet is made up by various seeds, but unlike most finches, the young are fed extensively on insects.

Bramlings particularly like areas with plenty of Beech nuts.


The Bramling averages 14-15 cm / 5.7-6 inches in length, including its tail. The back is black; the chest is orange, and the belly is whitish. It has large orange or white double wing bars. The winter plumage is usually a grey-brown.

In all plumages, Bramblings can be identified by the orange on the chest extending across the shoulders onto their wings.

In flight, a neat rectangular white patch can be seen down the rump, as well as white and orange in the wing.

Similar species: It looks similar to a Chaffinch, but can be identified by its pale rump (lower back) and it also lacks the white outer tail feathers of the Chaffinch.

Further Finch Reading

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