The hawfinch is a member of the finch family, with its scientific name being Coccothraustes coccothraustes. Its closest living relatives are located in America, one being the evening grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertinus) from North America, and the other being the hooded grosbeak (Hesperiphona abeillei) from Central America, particularly Mexico.
In the UK, the hawfinch is the largest finch, with a huge, powerful bill. Despite its compelling bill, the hawfinch is usually shy and difficult to see. What’s more they are getting more difficult to spot because their traditional breeding areas have declined in recent years. Typically there are 500 – 1000 pairs in the UK breeding, with 10,000 – 15,000 birds in population in winter, between October to March.