The brambling is a unique species, although it shares a close bond with the chaffinch and is often seen with them. Its habitat covers most of the northern Palearctic region, and it travels south during September before returning to its breeding sites in April.
Have you ever laid eyes on a Brambling? This charming bird boasts a beautiful combination of colors and patterns during the summer season. Its upper wing is primarily black, accompanied by a glossy black tail, back, mantle, head, nape, and neck sides. Meanwhile, its breast, upper belly, and flanks display a more vibrant orange hue. The chin, neck, and minor coverts on the upper wing are painted in a pale orange shade, while the uppertail coverts feature a light brown tint. Its lower back and rump are almost white, transitioning into a light grey tone. The undertail wing coverts take on a lovely lemon yellow color, paired with bands of pale orange undertail coverts. The Brambling’s eyes are brown, legs and feet dark brown, and its bill is short and robust in a black or dark grey shade. In the winter, the mature male loses its black head and neck and takes on a mottled brown and grey plumage. Interestingly, its bill turns yellow with a black tip, and its eyes often develop a buff eye ring. Its rump becomes white, the back brown and grey, and the flight feathers mostly brown. Breeding females have a slight variation in coloration on their head, shoulder, and underparts compared to non-breeding males. Though darker in shade, juveniles mimic their mother’s appearance.
Have you ever wondered what a Brambling sounds like? Well, you’re in luck! The Brambling’s call is a unique “tsweek” or “tchec” when it’s on the go. If you happen to catch the bird at rest, you’ll hear a pleasant melody of trills, tweets, and chirps that vary in pitch and volume.
The brambling’s diet varies depending on the season. During the summer, they primarily feed on insects that they forage on the ground or find in leaf litter and tree bark. However, come winter, their primary diet consists of seeds, berries, and nuts, with beechmast being their preferred food choice. These brown nuts from the beech tree covered in a prickly outer covering can attract large flocks of bramblings to areas where they are abundant.
Bramblings are migratory birds and overwinter in southern and south-western Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and South East Asia. They are commonly found throughout northern Europe and Asia, ranging from Iceland to Kamchatka in the extreme eastern corner of Russia. Some lost bramblings arrive in Alaska during migration and then fly south across North America, reaching as far south as Colorado and east to the Atlantic coast.
To identify bramblings, look for them in wooded environments with conifers, birch, and beech trees. They are similar in size and structure to chaffinches, with comparable overall colors and patterns. However, upon closer inspection, there are small but distinct differences that allow the two species to be easily identified.
Regarding reproduction, there is no information provided in the original content.
During the months of May to August, the female brambling builds a small and camouflaged nest in a high area using a cup-shaped design. Typically situated within the branches or against the trunk, these nests can hold between four to nine eggs per clutch. Following a two-week incubation period, the young bramblings hatch and take flight after approximately 14 days. Bramblings have a life expectancy of two to five years.