One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A stocky Eurasian finch with a short, thick bill, typically having grey or pinkish plumage, dark wings, and a white rump.
Genus Pyrrhula, family Fringillidae: several species, in particular the common P. pyrrhula, the male of which has a pink breast
- ‘Dog roses, bramble, nettles and thistles provide good for birds such as goldfinch, greenfinch, chaffinches and the occasional rarity such as brambling or bullfinch.’
- ‘We have a man as Cinderella's broom come to life, fairies dressed as a celluloid tea service, dragonflies, grasshoppers, bullfinches and sunflowers, and four lovely dancers as the Seasons.’
- ‘Those in situ lengths were converted to mass in the same way as described above, using data on total feather length and mass, and the distribution of mass along the length of each feather, obtained from dead greenfinches and bullfinches.’
- ‘There's heather on it and bullfinches, willow warblers and snipes.’
- ‘It's crucial we provide our bullfinches with the wintering feeding resources that will encourage them to come here.’
- ‘Mrs. d' Urberville instructs Tess to whistle to the bullfinches that Mrs. d' Urberville treats as pets and Alec surprises Tess as she's practicing her whistling in the garden.’
- ‘My bird list included long-tailed tit, greenfinch, mistle thrush, collared dove, pied wagtail, great tit and a particularly coloured male bullfinch.’
- ‘He confirmed that many species have become very depleted, especially the tree sparrow and the bullfinch, but contrary to the current impression more are holding their own and even increasing.’
- ‘He worried about the future of the golden eagle, the osprey and the nightingale and he condemned the persecution of the bullfinch.’
- ‘The reserve is home to woodpeckers, chaffinches, bullfinches and blackbirds.’
- ‘Feeding on berries or with a mouthful of insects to take to chicks in their nests, images included blackbirds, robins, thrushes and many other birds rarely seen such as the bullfinch, chaffinch, woodpecker, kingfisher and kestrel.’
- ‘Every month, RSPCA inspectors in Rochdale receive three or four reports of greenfinches, bullfinches, linnets and goldfinches being trapped and caged before being sold to breeders.’
- ‘Almost every grower had little option but to trap bullfinches (using cage-traps complete with a live decoy) during the winter and spring.’
- ‘Nearby, the rough grass and scrub contain large stands of teasels and thistles, which provide seeds for finches - goldfinch, chaffinch, bullfinch, brambling and siskin are frequent winter visitors.’
- ‘In the case of greenfinches and bullfinches, which, like starlings, have relatively massive outer primaries, molt rate is exaggerated (steeper slope) during the early part of molt and underestimated later.’
- ‘They have disappeared from our view, as have bullfinches and tree sparrows, nuthatches and marsh tits.’
- ‘Most urban and suburban gardeners would nowadays be astonished to see the once-common linnet or bullfinch, even if they recognised one in the first place.’
- ‘On farmland, the numbers of song thrushes fell by 66 per cent between 1972 and 1996, of bullfinches by 62 per cent, of skylarks by 75 per cent, of linnets by 40 per cent, of spotted flycatchers by 78 per cent and of lapwings by 46 per cent.’
- ‘Other species in danger are the brown hare, skylark, linnet, reed bunting, tree sparrow, grey partridge, bullfinch, song thrush and grass-wrack pondweed.’
- ‘Whenever she's lost in thought she finds herself drawing a tree under a rainy, autumn sky; a spring flower along a roadside; a red-breasted bullfinch in the snow.’
2A Caribbean songbird of the bunting family, resembling the Old World bullfinch.
Genera Loxigilla and Melopyrrha, family Emberizidae (subfamily Emberizinae): four species
- ‘Be on the lookout for Caribbean dove, West Indian woodpecker, Cuban bullfinch, and smooth-billed ani.’
- ‘Birdlife includes the pearly-eyed thrasher (common here), and the Antillian Bullfinch (bullfinches are found on several islands and appear to be the closest relatives of the Galapagos finches - go figure!).’
- ‘Such riches are not without robbers, and we observed male purple-throats defending their patches, repelling other purple-throats as well as Saint Lucia orioles and Lesser Antillean bullfinches.’
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