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Bird name:


Carduelis flavirostris




Finches (Fringillidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Tundra, Moorland, Arctic regions, Meadows, hay

Breeding Type:


Egg Colour:

Smooth and pale blue with reddish-brown specks, spots and scrawls.

Number of Eggs:

5 - 6

Incubation Days:

12 - 13

Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

Cup nest made of stems and grass; lined with hair, feathers and wool.

Nest Location:

On ground, sometimes in a shrub.


Some migrate


Twite: Small, Robin-sized finch. Tawny head with dark brown streaks on crown, nape, and cheeks. Unmarked tawny around eye and on throat. Black line through eye. Thick, dark brown streaks on pale brown back and white underparts. Brown-pink rump. White edging in dark brown wings and tail. Small, mostly grey bill. Often in flocks. Undulating flight. Sexes similar. Autumn and winter birds have plumage like summer birds but with brown-yellow bills, plainer tawny and white underparts, and paler brown upperparts.

Range and Habitat

Twite: Summer breeder and winter visitor to the UK & Ireland. Birds can be seen all year. Breeding birds are found on upland moors in Scotland and the Pennines. In winter, birds shift to Wales, and the east coast of England. Breeding birds prefer moorlands, wintering birds are found at coastal wetlands.

Breeding and Nesting

Twite: Monogamous. Breeding is in alpine meadows, moorland, tall heather, amongst gorse and bracken, or in stony areas near the sea. Nest, built by female, is a finely built cup on the ground or in a bush. Female incubates eggs. Both parents care for young. One to two clutches per breeding season.

Foraging and Feeding

Twite: Feeds primarily on seeds and occasionally invertebrates. Forages in tilled fields for seeds. Also eats the seeds of dandelions, thistles and hardheads.


Twite: Song is a mix of warbling notes and short wheezy syllables. Call is a "tweee," "chweee," or "chwaiie."

Similar Species

Twite: Linnet has a grey head, a solid chestnut back, and a grey, not pink, rump. Redpoll has a red forehead, a small black bib, pink throat and breast, and is more grey.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX