Bullfinch chicks didn’t survive

My husband and I have had the privilege of being so close to see a make and female bullfinch try unsuccessfully to raise their brood. The nest was in one of our potted trees at the back door, we were concerned with the location, however, everything seemed to be going so well for them. On Sunday there was 3 chicks in the nest. 

This morning my husband ran into the bedroom and said that the chicks were dead (gone from the best) and that there was blood around. We were devastated. It is just so sad for the parents, who have been working flat out for the last month, making the nest, laying the eggs and then mother bird sitting on the eggs for over 2 weeks to incubate them and now they are all dead. It is such a hard life for our little birds and we understand so much more now. We are thinking a dreaded cat got to them in the night. But then I was thinking of the Magpies and how they would have taken them from the nest. We have so many Magpies around that it is very concerning for other garden birds nests now. 

Will the bullfinch’s try again? Really hoping that they can raise a successful brood (fingers crossed)  Also how do you keep magpies away from our garden? 

  • First, I'm sorry to read about the demise of the bullfinch chicks.

    Magpies, whether you like it or not, are a part of nature, which can be harsh, but they need to feed their young as well, likewise other bird and mammal species too, and often that will involve predating nests or youngsters on the ground.

    Short of putting a large canopy over the garden, with a small hole(s) for the small birds to fly in and out, there is nothing you can do.

    It is hard, but take comfort in the fact the bullfinches were happy to set up home in your garden and raise a brood. They may try for another, though the chances are, they may not after the predation.


    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Magpies will remember the site but bullfinches do raise second broods as a rule, so hopefully they’ll try again somewhere else. But like many urbanites I never see bullfinches in the garden, so to have a pair try to nest with you sounds pretty special.
  • We sre lucky enough to have several breeding pairs of Bullfinch in the gardens surrounding our flats, one pair at least are on second brood after rearing 3 young


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Internetman:

    Yes, it was so special having these beautiful bullfinch’s nesting in our garden right at the patio door. It really made our day just seeing them and all the work they were doing to raise their brood. I really hope they can be successful for their next brood. It is so sad not having them around now as they have moved on.
  • In reply to Seaman:

    What a privilege having serval breeding bullfinch's in the gardens, they are just the most beautiful birds. So happy to hear they are raising their young successfully, and one pair on their second brood, just so lovely to hear. Thanks for sharing 

  • Chris and myself often brag about our Bullfinchs fellow birders must get sick of it


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can