39 Principal Biodiversity Species in Wales The Population Status of Birds in Wales: Green-listed
Population trend and distribution
Resident in small numbers in lowland areas, principally in east Wales (Green 2002). The RWBS showed a decline in the UK since the 1980s of 73.5% (the RSPB) and 17.4% (BTO) but too few were recorded in Wales for a Welsh-specific analysis.
60 birds have been recorded at a roost in north Wales (Smith 2004). Heavily grazed woodlands are usually avoided. Drinking water is important, as they need to drink frequently during periods when seeds are the main diet (Amar et al. 2006).
Nesting: nests are located in mature densely foliated trees, usually on horizontal branches or abutting the trunk or a vertical branch, often in the cover of ivy or honeysuckle. Hawfinches nest solitarily or in small groups (Langston et al. 2002).
Mar Apr May
General: hawfinches are closely associated with the canopy of mature woodland with oak, hornbeam, beech, ash and elm and where a variety of trees and shrubs provide year-round feeding. Mature orchards and parkland are also used. Hawfinches form communal roosts outside of the breeding season, eg up to
Feeding: large hard seeds, eg hornbeam, beech, elm, maple, cherry, Prunus species and rose. Buds and shoots of trees and shrubs are also eaten. Invertebrates, especially caterpillars, are fed to chicks. Berry-bearing trees and shrubs become more important in autumn and winter.
39 Preliminary assessment for 2008 revision of The Population Status of Birds in Wales: Green-listed
Figure 36 Key areas for hawfinch in Wales.