Unusual Finch rescued in East Sussex

WRAS Rescuer Tony Neads was called this morning to the UK's largest and most secretive finch, the Hawfinch.

"It has a large and powerful bill and is an amazing colour, and much bigger than I was expecting” said Tony, "it was found in a garden in Etchingham, East Sussex, unable to fly. I delivered the bird to our Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith for examination.”

According to the RSPB's website the Hawfinch is "Always shy and difficult to see, the hawfinch has become even more enigmatic in recent years with a decline in many of its traditional breeding areas. Numbers are hard to determine.”

We know they can be found in Kent but are not so common in East Sussex, it is estimated that there are only between 3,000 and 6,500 breeding pairs in the UK and the bird is on the RSPB's Red List. These birds live in mixed woodlands and orchards but hornbeam, beech and wild cherry are the most favoured plants. There large beaks are designed for eating large seeds and fruit stones which are often ignored by other smaller finches and birds.

"This is the first time we have ever had one to rescue or to treat in 26 years. It has a swelling on one wing near to the shoulder but we don't think there is a fracture, but it is being checked by the vet to assess the damage. We know they can be difficult in captivity to treat, and hope that it will be able to go outside as soon as possible and released quickly too” said Trevor Weeks WRAS's founder.

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks, Director, East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958

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