Fringilla montifringilla

RSPB Conservation Status – Green

Last seen – 

The Brambling is a small but striking finch that breeds in the forests of Scandinavia and northern Russia, and winters across much of Europe, including the UK.

Similar in size and shape to the chaffinch, the male brambling has a black head in summer, and an orange breast with white belly.

In winter it may form flocks of many thousands and often joins with chaffinches.

Numbers vary between winters depending on food supplies.




Population – UK Winter between 48,000 and 1,800,000 birds

Length – 14 cm

Wingspan – 25 – 26 cm

Weight – 19 – 25 g


The Brambling’s breeding season starts in May or June, depending on the location.

They typically build their nests in coniferous trees, and both males and females take turns incubating the eggs, which hatch after around 12-13 days.

The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge after around 14-16 days.


The Brambling breeds in coniferous and mixed forests, particularly in areas with dense undergrowth.

During the winter, it can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including woodlands, hedgerows, and gardens.



The Brambling is primarily a seed-eating bird, feeding on a wide variety of seeds including those of birch, alder, and conifers.

During the winter, it can often be seen feeding on garden bird feeders, particularly those containing seeds such as sunflower hearts and niger.

If you have seen a Brambling, please let us know via our survey page.