One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large Old World finch with a massive bill for cracking open cherry stones and other hard seeds.
Genus Coccothraustes, family Fringillidae: three species, in particular the widespread C. coccothraustes
- ‘Whenever I have been fortunate to watch a party of Breckland hawfinches they were very wary, taking flight at the first alarm and rocketing into the treetops.’
- ‘Where I see Hawfinches they become more visible from early afternoon in the tops of trees - often Beech or Hornbeam. Listen out for the loud ticking call.’
- ‘Woodland species such as Hawfinch and Crossbill are much easier to locate in the foliage-less trees.’
Late 17th century: from haw + finch.
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