Online Encyclopedia

HAWFINCH

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 94 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HAWFINCH, a bird so called from the belief that the fruit of the hawthorn (Crataegus Oxyacantha) forms its chief food, the Loxia coccothraustes of Linnaeus, and the Coccothraustes vulgaris of modern ornithologists, one of the largest of the finch family (Fringillidae), and found over nearly the whole of Europe, in Africa north of the Atlas and in Asia from Palestine to Japan. It was formerly thought to be only an autumnal or winter-visitor to Britain, but later experience has proved that, though there may very likely be an immigration in the fall of the year, it breeds in nearly all the English counties to Yorkshire, and abundantly in those nearest to London. In coloration it bears some resemblance to a chaffinch, but its much larger size and enormous beak make it easily recognizable, while on closer inspection the singular bull-hook form of some of its wing-feathers will be found to be very remarkable. Though not uncommonly frequenting gardens and orchards, in which as well as in woods it builds its nest, it is exceedingly shy in its habits, so as seldom to afford opportunities for observation. (A. N.)
End of Article: HAWFINCH
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